Volastra Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company based in New York City, formed from the laboratory of Dr. Lewis Cantley, along with Drs. Olivier Elemento and Samuel Bakhoum.  Volastra is dedicated to the discovery and development of treatments for patients with cancer.  The Company’s therapies will target novel pathways and apply insights gained from its scientific founders into chromosomal instability (CIN) and its clear association with the formation, progression, and maintenance of cancer.  Leveraging these insights we will identify and quickly validate novel therapies to shift the treatment paradigm in the toughest to treat cancers.

Volastra has raised funding from top US and European venture firms, including Vida, Polaris, Droia, and Arch.  Current funding will look to advance a lead program into the clinic, advance another program to IND-enabling studies and strengthen the platform to identify a broader pipeline of candidates. The company has a world class scientific advisory board including two Nobel Laureates as well as a highly experienced senior leadership team.  This includes the CEO, CSO and senior leaders with expertise in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, immunology, and operations.

The company operates out of 11,000 square feet of office and state-of-the-art laboratory space in West Harlem, New York City, within easy traveling distance of Columbia, Cornell, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and all most other areas of the city and New Jersey.

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The role of Director, Chemistry will work closely with the scientific team to achieve the company’s scientific and strategic plan.  Volastra is seeking an Director, Chemistry for a role on the medicinal chemistry team. The Director will have responsibility for leading and executing projects as part of the scientific team to ensure the advancement of key programs in the Volastra pipeline. Our ideal candidate is an independent thinker with excellent communication skills who will provide insights towards experiment design and interpretation. The successful candidate will also be instrumental in establishing workflows and infrastructure to support the growing small molecule discovery portfolio. The candidate should also have a track-record of consistent success in medicinal chemistry programs.  The key responsibilities will include:

  • provide leadership of small molecule discovery efforts from exploratory, through hit finding, and into the clinic
  • directly manage external synthetic chemistry efforts with CRO partners
  • collaborate with functional partners in biochemistry, biology, and pharmacology to define project goals and strategies, and implement the tactics needed to successfully deliver drugs to patients
  • contribute to experimental design and data interpretation related to small molecule drug discovery
  • expanding and strengthening Volastra’s informatics platform

Required Skills

  • expertise in synthetic organic chemistry relevant to drug-like small molecules
  • success in leading medical chemistry teams
  • expertise in synthesizing molecular interaction, binding kinetic, thermodynamic, molecular conformation, ADME/DMPK, and safety data to make decisions and drive programs forward
  • experience with hit finding (e.g. HTS, virtual screening, FBDD), multi-parameter lead optimization, and candidate profiling and selection.
  • experience with computational chemistry techniques, including cheminformatics and structure-based drug design
  • experience writing patents and medicinal chemistry publications
  • highly effective verbal and written communications skills, including across functions
  • scientific curiosity critical thinking • a drive to deliver meaningful treatments to patients

Preferred Skills (but not required)

  • experience with CRO management
  • experience with small molecule discovery for oncology indications


a Ph.D. in organic or medicinal chemistry, or related field, plus at least five years of relevant industrial experience in small molecule drug discovery, or a relevant Master’s degree with at least fifteen years of relevant industrial experience.

Volastra is a lean team of dedicated individuals working to advance therapies for patients with cancer.  As such, the Scientist will from time to time have the opportunity to work on projects and take on responsibilities that may fall outside his/her scope of work. 

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