University of Dundee

Portfolio Leader: Coronavirus Portfolio in the Drug Discovery Unit

Drug Discovery Unit
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Grade 9 (£52,560 - £59,135)

We are seeking a highly motivated and expert medicinal chemist for a key leadership role. The successful applicant will lead our coronavirus drug discovery programme, setting strategy, and ensuring goals and milestones are met. The appointee will lead, and drive interactions between the programme’s medicinal chemists, biologists, computational chemists and the drug metabolism & pharmacokinetics experts within the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) team. The successful applicant will use organisational and scientific "know-how" to successfully manage the broad range of collaborations (with both industry and academia) required to progress a portfolio of hit and lead optimisation projects towards candidate nomination for pre-clinical development. They will oversee the appropriate accessing of the in vitro assays (biochemical, cell based and high content); secondary/ functional studies; toxicological screening (in vitro); chemistry outsourcing and animal models of disease required to support progression of a portfolio of small molecule drug discovery projects.

The DDU (see is a fully integrated drug discovery organisation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment. Its remit is to complement BioPharma activities by tackling both neglected diseases (e.g. leishmaniasis, TB and malaria) and validating novel drug targets across a range of therapeutics 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 will range from quality leads demonstrating disease model proof of concept, through to pre-clinical candidates.

The successful applicant will be required to report (verbally and written) on progress both internally, and to collaborators and funding agencies, and where required, will also be expected to co-ordinate drafting of patents with the University of Dundee Intellectual Property Office. Where opportunities exist, they will co-ordinate the writing of scientific publications and make presentations at external scientific conferences.

In addition to leading a project, they will contribute more widely to the DDU through wider leadership activities, helping to drive innovation within the drug discovery process and best practice.

It is envisaged that significant international travel will be required to fulfil this position.

The post is available for an immediate start. Salary will depend on experience but will be between £52,560 - £59,135.

Required Attributes

  • Candidates must be professionally qualified with a PhD in a chemical science related discipline
  • Substantial experience of medicinal chemistry in the BioPharma industry or professional drug discovery environment
  • Substantial experience of leading successful medicinal chemistry projects in the BioPharma industry or professional drug discovery environment
  • Having a key role in taking a project(s) through preclinical candidate selection to clinical candidate selection
  • Demonstrable expertise in the concepts and practice of medicinal chemistry
  • Understanding and appreciation of the drug discovery process, including the interactions between biology, drug metabolism & pharmacokinetics, computational & structural biology and medicinal chemistry
  • Expertise in synthetic chemistry route design
  • Evidence of your expertise through patents, papers and significant contribution to the delivery of preclinical candidates
  • Ability to take the initiative
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • Experience of leadership of multi-disciplinary teams
  • Experience of successful working with collaborators and/or in consortiums
  • Excellent time management, organizational and communication skills
  • A demonstrable ability to work flexibly and to meet project milestones

Apply Here

The Drug Discovery Unit operates on an external funding basis. The Principal Investigators within this unit are highly successful in securing external funding for their multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative research and activities.

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.

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.

We are following Government guidance on working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews will take place using a web conferencing system unless both the interview panel and the interview candidate are able to travel and meet for a face to face interview