University of Dundee

Medicinal Chemistry Team Leader

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, September 5, 2020




Medicinal Chemistry Team Leader


The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

We are seeking a highly motivated and experienced medicinal chemist with experience in the BioPharma industry or similar, for a team leader role within the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU). The successful applicant will join a dynamic and multidisciplinary group that covers all aspects of drug discovery up to candidate selection. Work will cover all aspects of early drug discovery from hit validation through to lead optimisation for tuberculosis (TB), demonstrating appropriate pharmaceutical properties and efficacy in pre-clinical models of disease. The appointee will plan and lead multidisciplinary projects, line manage and co-ordinate the work of a team of chemists and drive interactions between medicinal chemists, biologists, computational chemists and drug metabolism & pharmacokinetics experts within the DDU team.

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) (see is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment. The DDU is housed in a state-of-the-art building with cutting-edge equipment and automation for drug discovery. Its remit is to complement BioPharma activities by tackling early stage small molecule drug discovery across a range of potential 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.


Your priorities will include:

  • Work within interdisciplinary teams and actively contribute to drug discovery projects at all stages.
  • Day-to-day responsibility of delivering the project goals.
  • Lead hit validation to lead optimisation medicinal chemistry projects, to identify leads demonstrating appropriate pharmaceutical properties and efficacy in disease models.
  • Lead and mentor a team of medicinal chemists.
  • Analyse assay and pharmacokinetic data to design and synthesise target compounds
  • Write reports, presentations and publications.
  • Oversee outsourced chemistry.


Who we’re looking for:

  • Candidates must be professionally qualified with a PhD in a chemical science related discipline or alternatively a BSc in a chemistry related subject with subsequent substantial relevant drug discovery experience in the BioPharma industry.
  • Be able to evidence managing successful drug discovery projects and people.
  • Demonstrable expertise in the concepts and practice of aspects of drug discovery.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrate initiative, with good time management, organisational and communication skills.
  • An ability to work flexibly and to meet project milestones.


This post is available for an immediate start, and is funded to 31 October 2021 in the first instance. Salary will be dependent upon experience, but will be between £41,526 and £49,553.


For further details regarding this exciting opportunity, please contact Professor Ian Gilbert (

Apply Here

The Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery Division and Drug Discovery Unit operate on an external funding basis. The Principal Investigators within these units are highly successful in securing external funding for their multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative research and activities.

The School of Life Sciences at Dundee

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. Dundee itself lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and challenging hills.

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 safely travel and meet for a face to face interview.