Variant Bio is a Seattle-based biotechnology company leveraging the power of human genetic diversity to develop life-saving therapies. To achieve this goal, we are studying the genes of people who are outliers for medically relevant traits, then translating insights from this research into the discovery and development of new therapeutics. 

Variant Bio closed a $105mm Series B financing to support the rapid advancement of the company’s research and development work.  Our investors include Lux Capital, Alta Partners, General Catalyst, SoftBank Vision Fund, Cercano Management and Casdin Capital, among others.  Our growing team of geneticists, medical researchers, biologists, and drug hunters is working to advance multiple projects through target validation, lead optimization, and other discovery and development efforts in relentless pursuit of bringing life-saving therapies to patients.

Ethics is at the foundation of everything we do at Variant Bio. Our genomic research studies are co-designed with local partners around the world with input from communities. In addition, we are committed to sharing tangible benefits with research partners and communities through our unique Benefit-sharing Program and Affordable Medicines Pledge.

Variant Bio is an equal opportunity employer that guarantees a work environment that respects and values diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

Job Description

We seek a highly motivated, self-directed and collaborative (Senior) Research Associate to join our growing chemistry team at our laboratories based in Seattle, WA. The candidate  will help to advance Variant Bio’s preclinical drug discovery pipeline through the synthesis of novel small molecules. Reporting to the Director, Medicinal Chemistry, the candidate will join a dynamic, multidisciplinary drug discovery team. In this role, the candidate will help to establish a new chemistry lab and synthesize compounds for multiple medicinal chemistry projects at the hit-to-lead and lead optimization stage. Our current disease areas of interest include kidney disease, fibrosis, inflammation, and neurodegenerative disorders.


  • Synthesize, purify and characterize small molecules for multiple preclinical drug discovery programs.
  • Optimize reaction methodology to enable the synthesis of novel small molecules.
  • Work with internal teams and CROs to coordinate compound management for drug discovery assays.
  • Maintain detailed experimental records by keeping an updated laboratory notebook.
  • Help to establish the chemistry laboratory in a newly built facility.
  • Be an active team player and exemplary laboratory citizen, working with colleagues in biology, DMPK and operations to maintain a collaborative R&D team environment.


  • B.S. in chemistry with 3-5 years of industry experience, or M.S. in chemistry with 1-3 years of industry experience.
  • Problem-solving abilities with knowledge of a range of modern synthetic chemistry reactions.
  • Experience with small molecule purification techniques, including normal and reversed phase chromatography methods.
  • Experience using analytical techniques to identify and characterize small molecules, including HPLC, mass spectrometry and NMR.
  • Experience with multistep organic synthesis of drug-like small molecules is preferred.
  • Experience working in a small molecule drug discovery environment is preferred.
  • A commitment to quality, transparency and attention to detail, including maintaining an accurate and up to date laboratory notebook.
  • A commitment to maintaining a safe laboratory environment.
  • Excellent people skills and an ability & willingness to work on a multidisciplinary R&D team as an exemplary laboratory citizen.

Compensation & Perks

  • Opportunity to be part of an early-stage startup in a rapid growth phase.
  • Competitive salary and equity package.
  • Comprehensive benefits including medical, dental, vision, short and long term disability, and life insurance.
  • 401(k) plan that includes an automatic 3% employer contribution.
  • Flexible paid time off.
  • Choice of public transportation (Orca Card) provided by the company or subsidized parking.
  • Central Eastlake location in a brand new Alexandria building with modern facilities.

Anticipated annual base salary for this position is $75,000 - $100,000 plus up to 10% bonus and an options package, for total compensation of up to $82,500 - $100,000, plus equity options.

The annual salary range above is based on the responsibilities and qualifications listed above. Individual salary will depend on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience.

Don't meet every single requirement but are excited to join the Variant Bio team? If your past experience doesn't align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may still be the right candidate for this or other roles.

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