Skip to main content

Open Positions


The Fesik Lab at Vanderbilt University has immediate openings for talented and accomplished synthetic chemists to join our group as postdoctoral research fellows and engage in groundbreaking cancer research.

The Fesik Lab is comprised of multi-disciplinary project teams, each with structural biologists, medicinal chemists, and cell/cancer biologists, committed to discovering and developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. We use fragment-based screening and structure-based design to discover small molecule inhibitors for important oncology targets.

Postdoctoral chemists in our group have the opportunity to learn and apply cutting edge approaches to drug design and synthesize analogs of hit molecules to improve binding affinity to a protein target and activity in cancer cells and then to optimize the pharmaceutical properties of these molecules. The close collaborations between synthetic chemists and cancer biologists, structural biologists, and pharmacologists in our group will provide excellent training in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.

The ideal candidates will have a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry with extensive training in synthetic methodology and/or total synthesis. Experience in parallel synthesis and compound library generation is a plus. If interested, please provide a cover letter describing your relevant experience, a curriculum vitae, and a short research summary of your work to



Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry is recruiting a Group Leader for the Cancer Drug Discovery Biology group in Dr. Stephen Fesik’s lab (  This individual will become a key decision making member of a multi-disciplinary team comprised of structural biologists, medicinal chemists, and cell biologists, committed to discovering novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. The ideal candidate should have expertise in cancer biology, target validation, assay development as well as experience managing people and projects.

The group leader will oversee all of the in vitro assays, help validate mechanism of action, develop biomarkers, identify and validate new cancer targets and select compounds for the in vivo assessment of inhibitors developed in the lab.

Vanderbilt University is a highly ranked university with a strong commitment to cancer research. The Fesik lab is a leader in the use of fragment-based methods and structure-based design in cancer drug discovery.  This position is thus an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated individual to make an impact on novel cancer drug discovery projects executed in an academic environment.

Required: PhD with Post Doctoral experience in Biology, Cell Biology, Pharmacology or related field.  Candidates should have relevant hands-on research experience in biochemical and cell based assays and prior experience advancing small molecule compounds through the discovery process.

If you are interested in this position, please prepare a cover letter describing your relevant experience, a curriculum vitae, and a short research summary of your work and submit your application on Vanderbilt University Interfolio page.

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2019 (Forbes).

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.



The Fesik lab is a multi-disciplinary group in the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University, dedicated to oncology drug discovery.  We have an exciting opportunity for a talented and motivated structural biologist to join this dynamic group.  This individual will work closely with cell biologists and chemists and will clone, express and purify recombinant proteins, carry out fragment-based screen by NMR, co-crystallize target proteins with small-molecule inhibitors, interpret Structure Activity Relationships (SAR), and contribute to the discovery of new targets for cancer drug discovery.

If interested, please provide a cover letter describing your relevant experience, a curriculum vitae, and a short research summary of your work to



An opening is available in the drug discovery laboratory of Dr. Stephen Fesik for a postdoc in the field of protein x-ray crystallography.  Responsibilities will include recombinant protein engineering, protein expression and purification, and all aspects of x-ray crystallography including preparation of protein-inhibitor complexes, crystallization, home/synchrotron data collection, and structure determination. Additional experiences in molecular biology including construct design, cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, and experience with recombinant protein expression in eukaryotic cells are highly preferred.  

The ideal candidate should be self-motivated and be able to communicate efficiently in a highly collaborative environment. He or she will assist in the interpretation of Structure-Activity Relationshisp (SAR) and participate in the structure-based drug design process. In addition, he or she will prepare, operate, and troubleshoot equipment and experimental procedures. He or she will provide appropriate written documentation of the results and experiences and will contribute to research, serving as author or co-author on research publications

If interested, please provide a cover letter describing your relevant experience, a curriculum vitae, and a short research summary of your work to