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Lilly Chemist-Organic Synthesis in Indianapolis, Indiana

At Lilly, we unite caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We are a global healthcare leader headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our 35,000 employees around the world work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to our communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. We give our best effort to our work, and we put people first. We’re looking for people who are determined to make life better for people around the world.

The Lilly RNA Therapeutics Team is seeking a research associate to join our fast-paced, interdisciplinary team as we use novel RNA/oligonucleotide based therapeutic modalities to enhance the Lilly portfolio. The successful applicant will utilize their knowledge and technical expertise to complement and enable core capabilities and help drive the discovery and development of RNA-based clinical candidates. Do you have strong synthetic capabilities to deliver diverse types of chemical scaffolds; fluent knowledge of modern synthetic organic methods? Join our team of dynamic researchers!

Our team strives to operate as a small, agile and autonomous ‘biotech-like’ company within the walls of Lilly. In the RNA Team, both basic and applied sciences are essential. We are looking for creative and energetic problem solvers to work in a multidisciplinary team at the front edge of innovation. Key facets of the role are design of ligands for specific cellular and tissue delivery and synthesis and purification for complex molecule assembly that progress an innovative preclinical portfolio with focus on scientific rigor and portfolio effectiveness. We build and maintain state-of-the art expertise in major oligonucleotide-based modalities and tissue delivery, with an emphasis on innovative approaches with capability for breakthrough efficacy.

Top prospects for this role will:

  • Provide examples of novel contributions to chemical design, synthesis and problem solving as part of project goals

  • Have a proven track record of scientific rigor and excellence

  • Embrace diversity of thought, background and experience to deliver innovative solutions.


  • Design and execute synthetic approaches to novel nucleotides, oligonucleotides, linkers and tissue directed conjugates.

  • Optimize potent siRNA designs for performance in specific tissues

  • Purify oligonucleotides and intermediates which may span small molecule, peptide, linker and oligonucleotide chemistries; learn and utilize a spectrum of purification approaches such as normal phase, ion exchange or RP-HPLC methods

  • Characterize and document molecules

  • Read literature and patent information in diverse fields

  • Engage with computational, bioinformatics and structural biology professionals to support molecule design.

  • May lead technical development of novel delivery platform(s) or synthetic approaches for efficient cell type specific delivery of RNAi

  • Collaborate closely with the CMC colleagues for intermediates and chemistry exchange and biology colleagues for experimental design and execution.

Basic qualifications:

BS or MS degree in organic chemistry or related field with laboratory research experience

Additional Skills/Preferences:

  • Ability to multitask efficiently, prioritize quickly and execute/troubleshoot designs to conclusion.

  • Proficiency with data mining and computational tools

  • Collaboration with biologists to define molecule properties and experimental design.

  • Experience with automation/automated synthesis.

  • Good communication skills and a sustained tendency for collaborating with others in a team setting.

  • Strong oral and written skills.

  • Demonstrated initiative and appropriate risk-taking and ability to manage through ambiguity.

  • Ability to influence others to promote a positive work environment.

  • Strong scientific and analytical skills.

  • Passion for RNA/oligonucleotide drug discovery focused on identifying therapies for the patient.

Top Candidates may also meet some of the following criteria:

  • Experience in oligonucleotide or peptide, small molecule and linker chemistry.

  • Knowledge of linker technologies.

  • Experience with MOE, model building, use of algorithms and/or minor coding

Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly USA, LLC and our wholly owned subsidiaries (collectively “Lilly”) are committed to help individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce and ensure equal opportunity to compete for jobs. If you require an accommodation to submit a resume for positions at Lilly, please email Lilly Human Resources ( ) for further assistance. Please note This email address is intended for use only to request an accommodation as part of the application process. Any other correspondence will not receive a response.

Lilly is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status.

At Lilly we strive to ensure our employees are part of a team that cares about them and our shared purpose of making life better for those around the world. How do we do this? We continue to look for ways to include, innovate, accelerate and deliver while maintaining integrity, excellence and respect for people.​ We hope that you seek to join us on our journey as we create medicine and deliver improved outcomes for patients across the globe!