Dr. McDermott holds a PhD degree in organic chemistry from Brown University and an MBA degree in finance from Rutgers University.

After completing postdoctoral work at Columbia University, Dr. McDermott joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of Hoffmann La Roche, Inc., where he held the positions of Principal Scientist and Senior Principal Scientist. As part of the Oncology and Metabolic Diseases medicinal chemistry sections he was involved in hit-to-lead campaigns, the SAR and DMPK optimization of small molecule leads, and the rational design of small molecule series via the use of molecular modeling and x-ray structures. Dr. McDermott was part of the extended teams that identified two small molecule clinical candidates that entered clinical trials and was named inventor in 23 patent applications.
In 2009 Dr. McDermott left Roche and joined a NYC consulting firm as senior consultant. In that capacity he led multi-disciplinary teams, located in the US and overseas, in the evaluation of projects and drug candidates for pharmaceutical industry clients. In 2011 Dr. McDermott joined the faculty of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh as a Visiting Research Professor and in 2014 he was appointed as Assistant Professor.

Dr. McDermott is a member of the leadership faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute and also a member of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.  He has served as proposal reviewer for the University of Pittsburgh Central Research and Development Fund (CRDF) and the Swiss National Science Foundation and he is an editorial board member of the Journal of Drug Research and Development.

He is also teaching faculty in the courses: a) Pharm_3032, Medicinal Chemistry; b) Pharm_3023, Foundations of Pharmaceutical Sciences; c) Pharm_5117, Biochemistry II; d) Pharm_2001, Pharmaceutical Analysis; e) MSMPHL_2370, Drug Discovery – Challenges and Opportunities