University of Dundee

Lead (Drug Discovery Innovation Project)

Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (CAIR)
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Friday, August 10, 2018
Salary dependent on experience: up to £65,000 per annum

We are seeking a highly creative, proactive and energetic individual to take up a new post of Lead for the Drug Discovery Innovation Project (DDIP) at the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR), University of Dundee.

WCAIR is working to facilitate the discovery and development of new drugs for major infectious diseases, e.g. TB, malaria, Chagas’ disease, leishmaniasis, and Cryptosporidiosis. The post will be within the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), which is part of WCAIR ( WCAIR and the DDU are housed in a state-of-the-art building with substantial equipment and automation for anti-infectives research and drug discovery. The Lead for DDIP will join a dynamic and multidisciplinary group that covers all aspects of drug discovery up to candidate selection.


The goal of DDIP is to position the DDU and others working on the major infectious diseases of low and middle income countries at the cutting-edge of how drug discovery is carried out now and in the future. To achieve this, the successful candidate will develop a vision (with a horizon out to 2030) to radically increase productivity, and the rate of delivery and success of drug discovery projects, by creating a fundamentally redesigned and streamlined approach to drug discovery for these diseases. By identifying and working with key scientists from multiple disciplines e.g. biomedical, chemical, computing, engineering and mathematical sciences and key opinion leaders, you as the Lead for DDIP, will critically assess new methodologies and technologies that can be implemented by a wide range of drug discovery groups and to initiate research to fill identified gaps currently hampering successful drug discovery.


This senior role will report to Prof Paul Wyatt (Director of WCAIR and Head of the DDU) and will be part of the WCAIR and DDU Management Teams.


You will have a minimum of a science or engineering PhD, together with a demonstrable substantial track-record of creating, articulating and delivering innovative concepts.

To deliver the vision, activities of the Lead for the Drug Discovery Innovation Project could include:

• Analysis of how drug discovery can be fundamentally redesigned and streamlined to speed up the delivery of successful projects, e.g. pre-clinical candidates

  - Identify potential solutions to address current bottlenecks in drug discovery

• Identifying and assessing new approaches and methods that could in the long term deliver the vision including but not exclusively

  - The use of AI and machine learning

  - The use of robotics and automation

• Identifying an expert advisory board from a broad range of disciplines to help identify and deliver solutions

• Creating a phased strategy and plans for modification and implementation of a radically different approach to drug discovery with a horizon to 2030

  - Writing a detailed plan with options, strategies, costings and delivery strategies, to include key partners and potential funding streams

• Establishing a compelling overall vision of capacity and capabilities, gaining buy-in and commitment from within WCAIR, the DDU and wider community

• Delivering successful grant applications to achieve the vision


Required attributes:

• A demonstrable high level of creativity and flexibility

• A demonstrable substantial track-record of creating, articulating and delivering innovative concepts

• A strong proactive and entrepreneurial approach

• Demonstrable ability for strategic and forward thinking

• A willingness to challenge the status quo

• Excellent influencing skills

• Expertise in planning and managing projects

• A willingness to work flexibly to meet milestones

• Strong interpersonal and communication skills

• Professionally qualified with a PhD in a related science or engineering subject


Desirable attributes:

• Experience of working with a wide range of disciplines

• An understanding of the drug discovery process


Apply Here


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