Intern, Small Molecule Discovery, Synthetic Organic Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry

Denali Therapeutics

Denali Therapeutics

South San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, November 18, 2023

Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the largest medical challenges of our time. Denali Therapeutics is a biotechnology company dedicated to developing breakthrough therapies for neurodegenerative diseases through our deep commitment to degeneration biology and principles of translational medicine. Denali is founded on the collaboration of leading scientists, industry experts, and investors who share the vision that scientific discovery energetically applied to translational medicine is the key to delivering effective therapies to patients.

The Opportunity

Denali is seeking a motivated undergraduate (junior or senior with lab experience) or graduate student for an internship position in the Small Molecule Discovery group. The individual will gain meaningful research experience in synthetic organic chemistry applied to early-stage small molecule drug discovery and medicinal chemistry. This is a laboratory position with the opportunity to work in a team setting to synthesize high value chemical matter for biological evaluation. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and have a strong desire to learn about early-stage drug discovery, synthetic organic chemistry, data interpretation, and principles of medicinal chemistry. Candidates will work with a team of scientists to support therapeutic and exploratory projects.


  • Work under supervision of Denali scientists to design, synthesize, and purify organic small molecules to develop structure-activity relationships within chemical series
  • Independently develop synthetic routes for small molecules
  • Characterize small molecules using NMR, LC-MS, and other laboratory techniques
  • Maintain an electronic lab notebook with detailed synthetic protocols and small molecule characterization
  • Present work to Denali project and function teams

Successful candidates will meet most of these criteria:

  • Candidates pursuing a BA/BS (3rd year and later) or MS/PhD (1st to 2nd year) in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology or related field
  • Previous experience in a research lab, either through internships or other research opportunities
  • Motivated, proactive, and organized with strong communication skills and ability to work in a highly collaborative environment
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and ChemDraw; Proficiency with CombiFlash purification systems, Agilent/Waters LC-MS software, TopSpin (Bruker), and iNMR is desirable, but not required

Denali is committed to its core company value of unity by creating a diverse and inclusive environment. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

The expected wage for this position based on the South San Francisco California office location is $20.96 per hour for BA/BS, $25.87 per hour for MS and $31.82 per hour for PhD. Paid holiday time off is based on Denali's designated holidays. Interns who live more than 50 miles away from the office are eligible for an additional housing stipend.

*This compensation and benefits information is based on Denali’s good faith estimate as of the date of publication and may be modified in the future.

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Job Facts

  • Job Type: Paid Internship
  • Start Date: Summer 2024
  • Length of Assignment: 10 - 12 weeks
  • Location: South San Francisco, CA