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Organic and Medicinal Chemistry

National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

A postdoctoral position is available for an organic chemist to work on multi-step synthesis of mostly nitrogenous small molecules on a multigram scale in the Drug Design and Synthesis Section, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 9800 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, Maryland. Our major research direction is the elucidation of the structure and function of neurotransmitter systems in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) in normal, drug-altered, and pathological states and the molecular mechanism of action of CNS active drugs.
DDSS has been involved with the rational design and chemical synthesis of novel agonists, antagonists, imaging agents, and affinity ligands as well as haptens for anti-heroin and anti-fentanyl vaccines and highly biased G-protein mu-opioid ligands. For more information, please visit:


Candidates should be very close to obtaining a Ph.D. or have a Ph.D. with less than two years of postdoctoral experience, demonstrated experience in synthetic organic/medicinal chemistry with emphasis on heterocyclic chemistry, and a proven record in carrying out synthesis on multi-gram scale. The incumbent must be able to synthesize, purify, crystallize, optically resolve, identify, characterize and analyze new compounds (HRMS, 1HNMR , 13CNMR, HPLC, optical rotation) and search the chemical literature under the supervision of senior staff. The candidate must be highly motivated and able to work independently or with minimal supervision. Incumbent will collaborate with colleagues in various pharmacological and other diverse scientific disciplines and must possess good interpersonal and organizational skills and excellent communication skills with fluency in both spoken and written English. The incumbent will be responsible for maintaining laboratory notebooks with complete records of all scientific experiments and raw data and be able to prepare technical reports, manuscripts, patent applications as needed, and present work orally at seminars internally and at national and local scientific meetings.

To Apply:

Qualified individuals should send a cover letter with a brief description of goals and interest, curriculum vitae, bibliography, and contact information for three references (including the current supervisor) to:
Mariena Mattson
Lab Manager
Drug Design and Synthesis Section
Molecular Targets and Medications Discovery Branch
9800 Medical Center Drive, Rm 239A
Rockville, MD 20892-3373

This position is subject to a successful completion of a background investigation.

The NIH is dedicated to building a community in its training and employment programs and encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.