Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Job posting: synthetic organic chemist, Santa Clara, CA

From the inbox, positions at Nanosyn:
Nanosyn, a CRO in Santa Clara, CA is looking for outstanding synthetic organic chemists. Multiple positions can be filled at the BS/MS or PhD level. Candidates should expect to spend the majority of their time at the hood making molecules. Please visit the careers section on http://nanosyn.com/ for more details.
Best wishes to those interested.  

20 comments:

  1. Before setting up the interview with this particular CRO, ask these questions: 1. Will you pay for my job interview travel and hotel stay? 2. What kind of NMR instrument do you have in your GMP lab? 3. What kind of chemistry journal access do you have?

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    1. Why would someone even want a GMP certified NMR? It would be unusual to have to apply NMR for a formal Release test and the other common uses for characterization or investigations shouldn't require such a stringent level. Sure NMRs value is great for R&D but required application for routine manufacturing would seem a failure in analytical development at some point.

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    2. you would want NMR at your manufacturing facility to check for things that are not seen on HPLC, LC/MS: for example solvent residues, traces of paramagnetic metals (like Cu). You may want to check the quality of starting materials - I think these needs are self obvious, and have nothing to do with GMP certification.
      My point was something else: if you spend the money on a GMP certification and compliance, it would make a good sense to have a functional lab rather than a GMP certified showpiece, and NMRs are not as expensive especially if you buy a refurbished one. (Our "used" 400MHz magnet has a dink in the outer body, because someone on a loading dock hit it with a forklift, and Pfizer returned it because of the mishap. The insurance wrote it off, we bought it Varian re-certified for 50% off, and it works perfectly fine, holds nitrogen and helium. The only problems we ever had with it were related to Agilent software update)

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  2. If they're not willing to cover travel/interview expenses, then that's scary for a company in the US (in the UK or elsewhere, however, that's not unheard of).

    On the other hand, a high-frequency FT-NMR and on-line journal access are not cheap for a small company. They might just be visiting the Chemistry Library at Stanford for the latter.

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    1. If you have the intention to build a "GMP certified" production facility, you should be able to afford a 400MHz NMR. (Especially if you buy a refurbished one). I was told by a chemistry manager from Nanosyn site in Santa Clara is that they originally started with medical devices, and they did not have NMR and certified their products with HPLC and MS. This is a fairly old information, I don't know what is their current situation.

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    2. Please allow me to provide you with current and accurate information.

      Nanosyn has two operational NMR instruments: a 250 MHz Bruker and a 500 MHz Varian.
      Nanosyn has not been involved in the medical device industry. We are a custom synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and biology CRO.
      Our facility in Santa Clara was previously occupied by Symyx. Although it did require some remodeling, the building was well designed for chemistry.
      We do not perform GxP work at the Santa Clara facility.
      We will gladly reimburse travel expenses for non-local candidates who we ask to interview on site.


      -Kevin
      Sr. Director of Chemistry at Nanosyn

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    3. Sorry, I confused it with your GMP facility in Santa Rosa. It was the Santa Rosa people I was talking to, few years back.

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    4. Why they would even need to interview non-local candidates is beyond me. The bay area is nothing if not full of super-achievers, half of whom are underemployed because of two-body problems.

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  3. I didn't get my expenses covered for the interview for my first job in Midwest back in the late 90's. This wasn't a unique situation in that area.

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  4. Thanks, milkshake. I may shoot them an application. However my spotty industrial experience may be an issue. Never know, until you try....

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  5. Question to all those based in the West coast-Glassdoor search revealed a salary in the ranges of mid sixties to 120's. The range I take it is for BS to Ph.D employed there. The more important question for the experts is is that salary enough for family of four in Santa Clara? I am a Phd with 3 mouths to feed! Presently I am OK (@ midWest) but who would not go for bigger take home salary?
    Milkshake_Thanks for those questions!

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    1. The answer to this question is highly dependent on the individual. I've always maintained that people who want to live in a certain area will figure out how to do it, and there's plenty of people living in 200 sq ft lofts in NY that can prove it. But what you can expect is that a 3 BR/2 BA anything will be radically more expensive in California than the midwest. Santa Clara/Silicon Valley is exceptionally expensive even for California. Unless you're getting triple your midwest salary, you'll be taking a step down in one way or another. You might be living in a less nice place, you might put less into savings, lots of permutations of different things. You do save on utilities because of the temperate weather, so you don't get huge spikes in winter for heat and summer for AC.

      All that said, there is a reason that so many people who visit California decide they need to live there. It's an incredibly rare experience with lots to offer. Santa Clara is only 30-40 minutes from South SF, so you'd be close to the biotech hub there. It's a tremendous melting pot of people and cultures, and that can be really enriching if you're interested in that sort of thing.

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  6. Hello Anon 9:58 - what Mindbender is saying is very true. A little ranch house in Oklahoma might cost you $ 50K. Out here, it would be more than $ 1 million, if not $ 2 million. But you get what you pay for, from the perspective of culture.

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  7. @Anon958
    If you are offered an opportunity to work near San Francisco, it may be prudent to consider the following:
    • Your spouse will most likely have to work so that your family can have some semblance of a middle class lifestyle.
    • Aside from high housing costs, the California state income tax rates are high and so are urban sales taxes (approaching 10%).
    • The quality of public K through 12 schooling is unexpectedly disappointing (relayed to me by relatives and friends who live in the area). If you would prefer private schooling, then be prepared to pay high tuitions.
    • You will still need a car. Gasoline prices and car insurance rates are high. Commuting times can be long. Some of my unmarried and childless friends work for companies offering van pools to and from mass transit stations. Those renting in the city either bike or BART to work. My married friends have commute times ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

    Try not to feel type-casted into pharma/biotech. Other options for chemists in San Francisco include Chevron, ThermoScientific, Clorox, and Shimadzu. If you are willing to consider non-pharma/biotech chemistry in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, or Texas, then perhaps look into Lubrizol, PPG, Dow Agro, BASF, Monsanto, or Nalco (respectively, just to name a few). Major cities in Flyover Country have become quite “multicultural” and offer amenities that, in certain cases, can rival those on the Coasts. Ultimately, you and your family must choose a near-term lifestyle and balance the compromises associated with that lifestyle.

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    1. It's my experience that people don't type-cast themselves, the people hiring do. I've got good background in biotech/pharma. On multiple occasions I've applied to other industries (agro, petroleum, etc) and been told that I people in those industries don't want to hire people of my background because we don't know how to think about projects the way they do. I'm not married to the idea of staying in pharma, I just like chemistry. But I've found it hard to get out because people in other industries aren't interested.

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    2. "amenities that, in certain cases, can rival those on the Coasts" = a Starbucks outlet? :-)

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    3. http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lrjw4ytDTj1qzwtdlo1_500.jpg

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    4. May the Force be with you.

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    5. That's "Farce."

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  8. Again, Mindbender has hit another home run when s/he writes "It's my experience that people don't type-cast themselves, the people hiring do". It is a MAJOR hypocritical event (12 on the Richter Scale) to read in job adverts that the successful candidate should be able to "think outside of the box", while, in fact the recruiter really just wants someone who fits a specific mold. Anything unfamiliar or outside of the small box of the recruiter's imagination, regarding your educational or professional background, and you are in the B-pile.

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