University of Dundee

Cell Biology Scientist (PROTAC drug discovery)

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

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 40 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 scientist with research experience in cell and molecular biology to join a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team based in a new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) within Dundee’s School of Life Sciences. The team is engaged in an exciting collaboration on proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTAC) drug discovery between the laboratories of Professor Alessio Ciulli ( and Boehringer Ingelheim. Our mission is to discover novel small-molecule degraders to treat cancer. The scientist will be expected to boost the cellular and molecular biology capabilities of the team, helping to address high profile drug targets to accelerate translation of research in this field.

The post is available to start on 1st July 2021. Salary will depend on experience and will be up to £40,322. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in world-leading industry-style drug discovery within an academic setting. The post may also provide opportunities for project leadership and to carry out a short work placement at the collaborator research site.

The position is available until 31st December 2023 in the first instance.


Your priorities will include:

Role Responsibilities

  • Develop innovative cell-based assays to interrogate the cellular activity of novel compounds.
  • Use state-of-the-art techniques to generate cancer cell models to enable compound evaluation.
  • Work with medicinal chemists, biologists and structural biophysicists to generate and apply your ideas.
  • Lead technical discussions with project members in Dundee and at Boehringer Ingelheim.
  • Develop team science across the collaboration, enabling breakthroughs with colleagues at across organisations.
  • Present findings to the collaboration team and externally at international conferences.
  • Stay current with scientific literature in the rapidly growing PROTAC field.
  • Report directly to the Collaboration Leader (Will Farnaby) and to the Principal Investigator (Alessio Ciulli)


Who we’re looking for:


  • Ph.D. in cell biology, cancer biology or a related discipline OR a degree in biology with additional relevant experience in industry.
  • Strong practical experience in cell biology and molecular biology techniques is required.
  • Experience of culturing cells in Category 2 facilities is essential.
  • A demonstrated ability to problem solve and innovate within a team environment
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills

Preferred skills:

  • Outstanding academic or industrial track records
  • Strong data science and computational skills
  • Experience in projects related to targeted protein degradation is desirable but not required.
  • Experience in drug discovery is desirable but not required.
  • Exceptional time management, organisational and self-motivational skills


Additional Information:

Appointment on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Alessio Ciulli, e-mail:

The new Protein Degradation Centre is located in a beautiful setting overlooking the estuary of the River Tay. It is part of a growing Life Sciences Innovation District, an ecosystem of organisations and people within the life sciences sector in Dundee driving innovation and local economic growth. The Centre is part of the University of Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, one of the premier research centres in the world recently assessed as the top UK University for Life Sciences research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Dundee 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.


As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. The School of Life Sciences is proud to employ staff from over 40 different nations. 

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.


The Closing Date is midnight on 5th June 2021.

For further information or to apply for this position please click here