University of Dundee

Drug Discovery

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) is a fully operational, fully integrated drug discovery group working across multiple diseases based within a UK university.  Our multi-disciplinary teams work closely together in an integrated management structure, operating more like a biotech company than a traditional academic group.  The DDU now includes around 80 scientists with cumulatively over 600 years of BioPharma industry drug discovery experience. Our initial remit was to develop new, more effective treatments for some of the world’s most neglected diseases.  Over the last seven eight years we have innovated and extended, and continue to expand both our remit and our partnerships across the academic, industrial and charitable sectors worldwide.  Today, we focus on tackling unmet medical need through small molecule drug discovery; collaborating with partners in Dundee and beyond to identify drug candidates, lead compounds, potential new drug targets and innovative tools and approaches across a wide range of debilitating and deadly diseases.

Our two areas of activity are Diseases of the Developing World and Innovative Targets & Pathways:

  • In Diseases of the Developing World we are targeting five major diseases: Chagas' disease, Visceral Leishmaniasis, Malaria, Tuberculosis and animal African trypanosomiasis (Nagana).
  • In Innovative Targets Portfolio we are collaborating with world-class life sciences researchers to develop new approaches to diseases of the developed world, including Cancer, Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Our goal is to partially validate innovative drug targets, investigate disease pathways, and identify lead compounds to develop new drug candidates and to further our understanding of the underpinning biology, including establishing proof of concept in preclinical models of disease.

As well as general applications to the Drug Discovery Unit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from excellent postdoctoral candidates to work in the area of Antimicrobial Resistance.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Common infections that have become hard to treat with standard antibiotics are becoming an increasing public healthcare issue. Part of the problem is that bacteria and other microorganisms that cause these infections are now remarkably resilient and can develop ways to survive antibiotics that were meant to kill or weaken them. This antibiotic resistance is due largely to the increasing use of antibiotics. There is an urgent need to understand mechanisms by which bacteria become resistant to antibiotics and to develop new drugs to circumvent these problems.

We are looking for postdoctoral candidates to work in: understanding mechanisms of antibiotic resistance; identifying and characterising potential drug targets; and identifying chemical start points for drug discovery programmes by screening and medicinal chemistry. Research groups of interest are listed below:

Further information on the Division of Molecular Microbiology and Drug Discovery Unit can be found the websites.

Candidates are invited to express their interest by submitting a cover letter and CV as a single PDF file by email to by 1st August 2014. For senior postdoctoral applicants with a particularly strong track record, the University will offer the possibility to create their own research group and will provide additional support to be negotiated. Candidates selected following this first round will be invited to jointly write a research proposal for the Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship scheme with assistance from Drug Discovery Unit.