Medicinal Chemist


Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Full time

Sep 21

Psylo is a biotech company developing medications inspired by psychedelics found in nature. Our goal is to produce next-generation neuropsychiatric therapeutics which are accessible to a broader patient population. See more about us here:

  • Psylo is based at the University of New South Wales and was recently named a Top 100 Innovator. -
  • Chief Scientist Sam Banister peaks with Hamilton Morris about medical chemistry and Psylo -
  • CSIRO, Australia’s national health agency, collaborates with Psylo to evaluate neuroplasticity of novel psychedelic compounds -

Why It’s Great to Work Here

We work at Psylo because mental illness affects us all in some way, our current approaches are not good enough, and psychedelics provide a novel framework for developing new solutions. We are driven by a desire to effect positive change in the world; to leave the world a little better than we found it— campsite rules.

In addition to our deep sense of purpose, we love working here because:

  • We are an innovative, collaborative, young company: we believe in partnerships, collaboration, and honesty so that we act fast, efficiently, and smart.
  • Flexibility of hours: While we do have core hours for teamwork, we are a group of school picker uppers, late night lab rats, cross-time-zone collaborators, morning swimmers, and lunchtime gym nuts.
  • Flexibility of location: While we do have a lab and office and do like face to face interaction, we know that it’s sometimes easier to work from home / cafe / plane / beach house.
  • Employee Share Plan: We want all of our employees to be invested in more than just their individual outcomes. All employees can participate in our employee share plan.
  • Wonderful office: We work on the beautiful campus of University of New South Wales, which means we have a lot of green space, have a great discounted fitness centre a few buildings away, are on public transportation routes, and have tons of students around to keep us young

Our Values

Head imagery feature prominently in our branding, it also serves as an acronym for our values, which we try to weave into how we operate and interact as a team. These are:

  • Honesty (& Hunger): We value transparency, internally and externally, and we're hungry to succeed, and learn - which is how we get so much done
  • Empathy: We have a patient-centric mindset, everything we do is for people who are suffering and have limited options for treatment.
  • Accountability: We do what we say. We recently established a penalty system where team members late to meetings donate to Black Dog Institute, a mental-health research non-profit. Proceeds from our online store all go the same institute.
  • Diversity: We crave delivery of opinion, background, POV. Our team members have Australian, American, Chinese, Fijian, Swiss, Canadian, and Turkish backgrounds. We are dedicated to including as many people as we can, and frequently host community-interest events for the general public to provide an interactive forum for discussion around the science of psychedelic medicine.
  • Self-reliance: We value enterprise thinking and proactivity. We work independently, but communicate often.


We are seeking an energetic, creative, and experienced junior medicinal chemist to join our medicinal chemistry team in the design, synthesis, and lead optimisation of small molecules targeting the 5-HT system.

The ideal candidate will have practical experience in modern synthetic organic chemistry and associated analytical techniques, demonstrable experience in drug discovery, and a track record in the academic or private sector. The key responsibilities of this role are the design, synthesis, and analytical characterisation of new molecules for pharmacological evaluation in vitro and in vivo.


Our team is located in Sydney, Australia on the University of NSW’s campus. Some of our work is together as an in-person team, however this role can be a hybrid position.


  • Design and iterate new molecules based on structure-activity relationships.
  • Synthesise targets using modern organic chemistry techniques.
  • Isolate and purify compounds by flash chromatography, recrystallisation, preparative HPLC, and other methods.
  • Confirm identity and purity of synthesised compounds using NMR, MS, IR, and other relevant techniques.
  • Accurately document experiments and ensure ELN records are current at all times.
  • Maintain batch-level digital inventory of chemical libraries using drug discovery software.
  • Maintain a safe and productive laboratory environment.
  • Work collaboratively with the CSO and other team members to advance multiple NCE programs to IND filing.
  • Contribute to the writing of project proposals, research grants, patents, and scientific papers.


  • Ph.D. in organic chemistry or medicinal chemistry
  • Track record of publications/patents/grants in drug discovery.
  • 1-3 years of synthetic organic chemistry lab experience.
  • Strong theoretical and practical knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry and the ability to design and execute complex multi-step syntheses.
  • Excellent communication, organisation, and time management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to troubleshoot and problem solve.
  • Capable of working independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Experience with the pharmacology of GPCRs, 5-HT receptors, neuropsychiatric disorders, or psychedelics is a plus.
  • Skills in computational chemistry supporting drug discovery (cheminformatics, molecular modeling/docking) are a plus.

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Psychedelic inspired medications to treat mental illness