University of Dundee

Senior Biologist

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Monday, February 25, 2019
Grade 8 (£40,792 - £48,677)

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) (see is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment. Its remit is to complement BioPharma activities by tackling both neglected diseases (malaria, cryptosporidiosis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and TB) and validation of novel drug targets across a range of 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 looking for a highly motivated and experienced biologist to join our apicomplexan (malaria and cryptosporidiosis) drug discovery group. The post will initially involve a drug discovery project around cryptosporidiosis. The appointee will be involved in leading the biology aspects of this project and integrating them with the chemistry, computational chemistry and pharmacokinetic aspects of the project. The appointee will gain valuable experience in working with Cryptosporidium through training and collaboration with a local academic lab (Pawlowic lab). The successful applicant will also be expected to develop various biochemical and cellular assays.

She/ he will also be involved in managing interactions and scientific work with a large variety of external collaborators. There will also be line management responsibility.

The successful applicant would be required to report on progress both internally and to collaborators and funding agencies both in report form and through presentations. Where opportunities exist, co-ordinate the writing of scientific publications and make presentations at external scientific conferences.

In addition to leading a project, the successful applicant will be expected to contribute more widely to the apicomplexan drug discovery group and the wider Drug Discovery Unit, helping to drive innovation within the drug discovery process and best practice within the DDU.

The post is available immediately. Salary will depend on experience, but will be between £40,792 and £48,677.

Required attributes:

• Candidates must have a PhD in a biological science related discipline or alternatively a BSc in a biological science with subsequent substantial experience.

• Candidate should have a significant track record of working in either apicomplexan biology or drug discovery with evidence of influencing the strategy or tactics applied to advance a project.

• Candidates should have a track record of answering research questions by applying multiple complementary techniques and approaches by engaging with external experts

• Candidates should have a broad understanding of cellular biology and enzymology sufficient to propose approaches in either discipline to advance projects

• Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills

• Good time management, organizational and communication skills.

• Interest in drug discovery and in particular in multidisciplinary interactions between biology, pharmacology, computational and structural biology and medicinal chemistry

• A willingness to work flexibly to meet project milestones

• Ability to take the initiative.

Preferred attributes:

• Previous experience working with category 3 pathogens or infectious agents

• General cell culture and microbiology skills

• Understanding and appreciation of the drug discovery process

• Having a key role in taking a project(s) through to preclinical candidate selection and preferably to clinical candidate selection.

• Experienced in setting up, optimising, and running a variety of biochemical and cellular assays, as evidenced through publications and/ or preclinical candidates.

• Experience in line management

A few facts about The School of Life Sciences at Dundee:

• The School of Life Sciences has over 1000 research and support staff from around 60 countries and external funding in excess of £100 million in 2013

• Dundee has twice been named ‘the best place to work in Europe’ in a poll of scientists conducted by The Scientist magazine

• Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is the highest-rated for Biological Sciences in the UK by the main standard of University research performance REF2014.

Dundee, set on the east coast of Scotland, has a relatively low cost of living. It lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and challenging hills.

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The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee one of the top universities in the UK. Family friendly policies, staff support networks for BME and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN and Stonewall, as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.