Process Development Research Scientist

Employer: Usona Institute
Date Posted: Apr 24, 2022
Employment: Full Time
Focus / Industry: Research
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
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JOB OBJECTIVE: Usona Institute seeks to welcome a motivated organic chemist with enthusiasm to design robust synthetic processes in support of the growing global need for psychedelic medicines. Located in Madison, WI, the candidate will be a founding member of the Usona Process Development Group contained within the greater Usona research program, practicing their skills in a newly designed facility featuring state-of-the-art jacketed chemical reactors. As a member of the Process Development Group, the candidate will support a small and nimble team of chemists focused on producing high-quality molecules and materials, driving the organization’s clinical development and supply programs. They will independently and actively design, synthesize, and characterize products and intermediates from Usona’s development pipeline by working closely with analysts and medicinal chemists to develop optimal synthetic processes and to identify criticality across the parameters of the process and attributes of starting materials. Finally, we seek a candidate who is eager to embrace the spirits of collaboration, emotional intelligence, and Open Science by contributing to scientific research that will ultimately be accessible to all levels of society.


  1. Design and optimize scale-up processes for known and novel psychedelic compounds from the Organization’s drug development pipeline.
  2. Focus on reaction route scouting, selection, and development; process limits testing; rapid material preparation for proof-of-concept studies; and process impurity isolation, identification, and synthesis.
  3. Create experimental designs based in the principles of Quality by Design (QbD) including identification of critical material attributes and critical process parameters.
  4. Work closely with the Analytical Development group to design methods for in-process monitoring and to determine critical specifications for starting materials, intermediates, and final products.
  5. Implement process development and engineering control practices bringing high statistical capability to processes and test methods.
  6. Apply standard and novel methods of experimentation to solve complex problems. Identify and attend relevant continuing educational seminars and short courses.
  7. Perform all laboratory projects in accordance with established safety procedures in assigned laboratory or work area. Responsible for monitoring safety practices of assigned personnel.
  8. Maintain accurate research documentation. Present scientific results and other reports to small or large groups within the organization.
  9. Contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of lab equipment and lab organization.
  10. Contribute to the development of manufacturing methods, including documentation.
  11. Collaborate with Medicinal Chemistry and Manufacturing groups, contributing creatively to current and prospective projects.
  12. Understand the capabilities and limitations of various plant equipment and reactors. Ability to design new processes or modify/scale-up current processes that are appropriate for existing plant equipment. Ability to recognize various non-scalable conditions.
  13. Maintain high level of knowledge related to current developments in organic chemistry, chemical biology, and clinical applications of psychedelic medicines.
  14. Demonstrates inclusion through their own words and actions and is accountable for a safe workspace. Acts with kindness, curiosity and respect for others.
  15. Embracing and being open to incorporating Promega’s 6 Emotional & Social Intelligence (ESI) core principles in daily work.
  16. Understands and complies with ethical, legal and regulatory requirements applicable to our business.


  1. Ph.D in Organic Chemistry with 0-3 years experience with multi-step organic synthesis, scale-up methodology, purification, crystallization, and characterization approaches.
  2. Ability to engage in independent thought and problem solving with strong organic chemistry knowledge of scientific principles and concepts required.
  3. Understanding of principles of quality by design and design of experiments.
  4. Understand the latest breakthroughs in process analytic technologies (PAT) and other real-time control technologies
  5. Ability to drive projects independently and collaborate with both R&D and Manufacturing groups in a collaborative environment.
  6. Ability to identify potential critical material attributes linked to critical performance.
  7. Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  8. Ability to present research activities in a scientific manner to the group, management team and outside customers.
  9. Ability to write manuscripts for peer reviewed journals.


  1. Experience with CNS-active small molecules and natural products.
  2. Knowledge of modern organic synthetic process, such as Design of Experiments (DoE), automation, flow chemistry.
  3. Good computer skills, including working knowledge of relevant computer software applications such as Word, Excel, and Chem Draw.


  1. Must be able to move about the building and labs including climbing stairs.
  2. Must be able to stand for long periods.
  3. Good hearing, vision, and sense of smell is required in monitoring reactions
  4. Must be able to identify and distinguish colors.
  5. Requires corrected vision for near (within 20 cm) and far (greater than 3m) activities.
  6. Must be able to use a computer

Diversity is important at Usona. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer, and make employment decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class.

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Last updated: Nov 21, 2023