University of Dundee

Team Leader – Molecular Interactions Team (structural biology, biophysics and protein expression)

Drug Discovery Unit
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Grade 9 (£52,560 - £59,135)

We are seeking an innovative and motivated scientist to lead a team of around 12 scientists providing structural biology, biophysics and protein expression expertise into structurally enabled drug discovery projects within the Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee (

The Drug Discovery Unit is a dynamic and multidisciplinary group of ~100 scientists with broad expertise across the drug discovery disciplines. The unit is housed in a state-of-the-art building and has cutting-edge equipment and automation to deliver pre-clinical and clinical candidates.

The role holder will contribute to current and future structure based drug discovery projects by providing technical expertise in developing innovative approaches to reduce the attrition associated with production of drug/protein complexes, implementing best practices and managing resource across multiple projects. This influential position offers significant scope for shaping the area to ensure delivery of much needed medicines. The position will report to the Head of Biology.

Main Responsibilities:

•    Contributing to strategic and tactical development of the DDU

•    Responsible for formulating and developing plans for innovation in the areas of cryo-EM, crystallography, biophysics and protein production to underpin structure driven drug discovery projects

•    Responsible for the generation, validation and implementation of best practices to support structure enabled drug discovery projects

•    Responsible for the operational management of a cross-disciplinary team to ensure the delivery of the current portfolio of structurally enabled drug discovery projects

•    Responsible for the line management and development of a team of around 12 scientists.

Essential Requirements:


The successful candidate will have a demonstrable high level of technical expertise required to support structurally driven drug discovery projects including in:

•    Cryo-EM and/or protein crystallography

•    All aspects of protein engineering from construct design, production, purification and validation

•    The use of biophysical methods to characterise proteins and their interactions with ligands

•    The understanding of the range of protein constructs required to support all activities required for structurally driven drug discovery projects


The successful candidate will have:

•    Excellent problem solving and creative thinking abilities with a track record of innovation

•    The ability to influence with a track record of gaining buy-in for implementation of recommended new approaches

•    The ability to work and deliver across multiple teams

•    The ability to work to tight timelines and deliver to key milestones

•    Self-motivation, being able to work independently with minimal direction/oversight

•    Strong interpersonal and communication skills

Leadership and management:

The successful candidate will have:

•    A track record of delivering change by influencing across peers, senior management and more junior staff.

•    Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills

•    Experience and expertise in line management functions

This position is open-ended.

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

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The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.