University of Dundee


Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Friday, January 11, 2019
Grade 6 (£26,243 - £32,236)

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) (see is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within the world class Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research. Its remit is to complement BioPharma activities by tackling both tropical infectious diseases (Chagas disease, visceral leishmaniasis, cryptosporidiosis, TB and malaria) and early stage small molecule validation of novel targets & mechanisms across a range of potential therapeutics areas. The DDU works to Biotech style philosophy and standards, incorporating dynamic goal-driven project management based on Target Product Profiles and Compound Selection Criteria. The project goals are therapeutic area dependent but range from quality leads demonstrating disease model proof of concept, through to pre-clinical candidates.

We are currently looking for a highly motivated biologist to be part of the translational parasitology group. The group has established extensive in vitro screening cascades that combine high-throughput hit identification assays with more physiologically relevant secondary assays. The main remit of this post is to perform in vitro parasite screening assays on small-molecule libraries to identify new compounds to enter the drug discovery pipeline. The suite of assays includes both free-living as well as intracellular Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi assays. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in cell-based assay screening, including advanced technologies such as high-content imaging assays, and in drug discovery for neglected tropical diseases. The post is available from February 2019 onwards and salary will start from £26,243/year depending on experience.

Your responsibilities:

• Culturing kinetoplastid parasites and human host cell lines in a biosafety containment level 3 facility

• Running Leishmania donovani and Trypanosoma cruzi cell-based assays

• Screening and profiling novel compounds

• Working according to all applicable health and safety regulations

• Carrying out data analysis and relevant quality assurance protocols

• Working collaboratively with members of the Drug Discovery Unit and academic or industrial collaborators to support drug discovery programs

Your qualifications:

• A track record of culturing eukaryotic cells and experience with cell viability assays

• A demonstrated ability to work in an organised and meticulous manner and to standard operating procedures is essential

• Good computer literacy

• An ability to be proactive, productive and to work effectively in teams is required.

• A first or second degree in cell biology, biochemistry, pharmacology or other relevant biological discipline, or equivalent experience

• Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills

• Experience of culturing parasites in a Bio-Safety Level 3 facility is highly desirable but not essential, as training will be given.

• Experience with fluorescence microscopy and image analysis is desirable but not essential

For additional information, please contact the Head of Translational Parasitology, Manu De Rycker (

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