Positions

Funding Opportunities

I am pleased to consider applications from talented and motivated scientists to join our laboratory in the School of Life Sciences of the University of Dundee. Our work is highly interdisciplinary, combining chemical biology, medicinal chemistry and drug design, with structural biology and cell biology, so we welcome applications from a variety of backgrounds. Interested candidates should contact Alessio Ciulli (email: a.ciulli@dundee.ac.uk), and include a CV and contact details for two professional referees.

 

Available Openings

(New: August 2021!)

We have 3x openings available immediately for postdoctoral scientists in the group to boost our efforts in targeted protein degradation and PROTAC design and drug discovery. The posts will be based in Dundee's new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD). Interested candidates should contact directly Alessio Ciulli (email: a.ciulli@dundee.ac.uk)

 

SLSC0910: Computational Drug Design and Molecular Modelling Scientist (PROTAC drug discovery)

We are seeking a highly motivated computational chemist to join a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team based in a new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) within Dundee’s School of Life Sciences. The team is engaged in an exciting collaboration on proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTAC), between the laboratories of Professor Alessio Ciulli and Boehringer Ingelheim. Our mission is to discover novel small-molecule degraders to treat cancers with serious unmet medical needs. There is significant scope for the successful candidate to develop how computational approaches can augment our world leading capabilities in biophysics and structure driven PROTAC design.

The opportunity will suit candidates with experience in computational chemistry and/or molecular modelling who are interested in applying their knowledge to PROTAC drug discovery. The post holder will be expected to work independently while interacting closely with medicinal chemists and structural biologists within the Dundee Team. There will also be scope and opportunities to interact closely with other computational chemists within the wider CeTPD at Dundee, and at Boehringer Ingelheim.

Candidate Requirements:

  • Ph.D. or Masters with relevant experience in industry in computational chemistry
  • Experience in applying a range of computational tools to improve ligand:protein binding
  • A keen interest to learn new techniques and to grow your own computational drug discovery repertoire.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • Excellent data handling skills

The post is available to start immediately, with funding available until 31 December 2023 in the first instance. The appointment will be made at Grade 7. 

More information on the position and how to apply can be found here

Closing date: Friday, 3 September 2021

 

SLSC0911: Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry / Organic Chemistry

We are seeking a highly motivated scientist with research experience in organic chemistry and/or medicinal chemistry to join a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team based in a new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) within Dundee’s School of Life Sciences. The team is engaged in an exciting collaboration on proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTAC), between the laboratories of Professor Alessio Ciulli and Boehringer Ingelheim. Our mission is to discover novel small-molecule degraders to treat cancers with serious unmet medical needs. The scientist will be expected to boost the drug design and synthesis approaches the team are taking to accelerate translation of research in this field and to develop degrader drug candidates.

The opportunity will suit candidates with experience in organic chemistry and/or medicinal chemistry / chemical biology who are interested in applying their knowledge to PROTAC drug discovery. 

Candidate Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry or a related discipline is required
  • High level of expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and synthetic route design
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • A demonstrated ability to problem-solve within a team environment

The post is available to start immediately, with funding available until 31 December 2023 in the first instance. The appointment will be made at Grade 7. 

More information on the position and how to apply can be found here

Closing date: Friday, 3 September 2021

 

SLSC0921: Postdoctoral Research Assistant (Development of Chemical Probes for E3 Ligases)

We are seeking an ambitious and scientifically-creative postdoctoral researcher with experience in medicinal/organic chemistry to join our laboratory, based in a new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) within Dundee’s School of Life Sciences. The successful candidate will join a diverse, fast-paced and collaborative team based within the Ciulli group to contribute to multi-disciplinary projects as part of EUbOPEN (https://www.eubopen.org/). EUbOPEN is a multi-partner, highly collaborative consortium recently established and funded for 5 years by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to enable and unlock biology in the open.

The scientist will be expected to design, synthesise and optimize small-molecule binding ligands and chemical probes (drug-like inhibitors) that target E3 ligases, enzymes that tag substrate proteins with ubiquitin. The ultimate goal of the project is to qualify high-affinity, selective and cell-active small molecules as tool compounds to investigate the E3 ligase target’s biology, and as starting points for conjugation into bifunctional degrader molecules, also known as proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs), co-opting novel E3 ligases for targeted protein degradation. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in world-leading, collaborative and cutting-edge research in one of the hottest area of modern translational chemical biology and drug discovery within an academic setting with an open-science ethos.

Candidate Requirements:

  • A PhD in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology or a related discipline is required.
  • High level of expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and synthetic route design.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • A demonstrated ability to problem-solve within a team environment.
  • An open and collaborative approach to science

Preferred skills:

  • Experience with fragment-based and structure-based drug design.
  • Experience with studying and targeting protein-ligand and protein-protein interactions
  • Outstanding academic or industrial track records
  • Exceptional time management, organisational and self-motivational skills

The post is available to start immediately, with funding available until 31 August 2023 in the first instance, which may be extendable dependent on project progress and funding. The appointment will be made at Grade 7. 

More information on the position and how to apply can be found here

Closing date: Monday, 13 September 2021

 

 

PhD Studentships available:

none available yet

 

MSC by Research Programme - Bringing proteins together with small molecules

Recent advances from the Ciulli Lab and others have contributed to the establishment of a game-changing new modality of chemical intervention into biological system – one that goes significantly beyond the state-of-the-art. Instead of blocking a target protein with conventional inhibitors, we are now designing and studying “tailored” molecules, bivalent conceptually and in function, that bring proteins together by forming stable and cooperative ternary complexes. We have shown that this key ternary recognition feature allows for fast and effective induce proximity-driven chemistries, specifically protein ubiquitylation and subsequent proteasomal degradation. We are beginning to understand the rules of how to design and study this new class of molecules in order to best trigger specific downstream signaling events, with profound biological consequences and attractive therapeutic potential.

Our research in this area takes a multidisciplinary approach including organic and medicinal chemistry and computational tools to design and achieve desired molecules; structural biology and biophysics to study binary and ternary complexes in solution and reveal their structural and dynamic interactions; and chemical biology, biochemistry, proteomics and cell biology to study the cellular impact of our small molecules into relevant cellular systems – for example cancer cells sensitive to the knockdown of the protein target in question. Our science takes advantage of latest technologies and vast expertise available at the School of Life Sciences e.g. within the FingerPrint Proteomics Facility and the Drug Discovery Unit that we have access to. We collaborate with several research groups within the School, including the Divisions of MRC-PPU, GRE, and CSI, to deploy our bivalent molecules to interrogate the biology of targets of interest and to dissect the functional consequences of disrupting the signaling networks in which they are involved.

A one-year Master project would typically fit as part of on-going projects and research interests of the Lab. Importantly; it can be tailored to the student specific interests and motivations. If you are interested in joining the lab and contributing to our science in this exciting new area, to learn more about our work and to discuss potential opportunities, do not hesitate to get in touch with Alessio.

Please see our website for further details and how to apply - https://www.dundee.ac.uk/study/pgr/life-sciences-msc-research/

Applications can also be submitted via Find-a-PhD.com

References 
Gadd, M. S. et al. (2017) Nat. Chem. Biol. 13, 514-521. 
Maniaci, C. et al. (2017) Nat. Commun. 8, 830. 
Hughes, S.J., and Ciulli, A. (2017) Essays in Biochem. 61, 505-516. 
Maniaci, C., and Ciulli, A. (2019) Curr Opin Chem. Biol. 52, 145-156.