University of Dundee

Medicinal Chemistry Project Leader

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, May 2, 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 (leishmaniasis, malaria, tuberculosis) and validating novel drug targets across a range of therapeutic 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 Medicinal Chemist with a PhD in synthetic organic or medicinal chemistry and subsequent experience in the Biopharma industry. Whilst still laboratory-based, you will have a number of years’ experience leading drug discovery teams in the hits-to-leads and lead optimisation phase and will have contributed significantly to the development of preclinical candidates. You will have excellent planning and communication skills and be comfortable managing multiple projects in parallel.

The available post will be within the Innovative Targets Group (ITG) which encompasses high quality projects across therapeutic areas. ITG seeks to identify novel therapeutic targets and mechanism of disease with the aim of developing new, innovative treatments for a range of diseases. Initial work will cover hits-to-leads and lead optimisation identifying pre-clinical development candidates with appropriate pharmaceutical properties and efficacy in pre-clinical models of disease. The appointee will help plan and lead a multidisciplinary project, co-ordinate the work of a team of chemists, and will be responsible for interactions with collaborators.

This open ended post is available immediately. Salary will depend on experience, but will be in the range £40,792 – £48,677 (Grade 8; open ended contract).

Your primary responsibilities:

• Lead hits-to-leads and lead optimisation activities, to identify leads with appropriate pharmaceutical properties and efficacy in pre-clinical models of disease.

• Work within an interdisciplinary team and actively contribute to drug discovery projects across a portfolio.

• Lead a team of medicinal chemists.

• Oversee outsourced chemistry.

• As called upon, produce high quality verbal and written reports and other documents in a timely fashion.

Required attributes:

• Candidates must be professionally qualified with a PhD in a chemical science related discipline.

• High-level experience and background in Biotech, CRO or Pharma industry.

• Experience of leading drug discovery teams in the lead optimisation phase.

• Significant contributions to the delivery of preclinical candidates.

• Understanding and appreciation of pharmacology, metabolism, pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics and toxicology.

• Expertise in synthetic organic chemistry route design.

• Experience in planning and managing projects.

• Line management experience.

• Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.

• Initiative, good time management and organisational skills.

• A willingness to work flexibly to meet project milestones.

Preferred attributes:

• Experience of managing collaborations.

• Experience of managing outsourcing activities.

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

• The School of Life Sciences has over 900 research and support staff from 59 countries and external funding in excess of £40 million per year.

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

• The School of Life Sciences has been consistently rated ‘5-star’ (the highest rating) by the UK national Research Assessment Exercise.

Dundee, set on the east coast of Scotland, 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.