University of Dundee

Medicinal Chemistry Team Leader

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Monday, June 7, 2021
Grade 8 (£41,526 - £49,553)

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.

The Drug Discovery Unit (see is a globally acknowledged centre of excellence for drug discovery. The DDU collaborates with partners to translate world-class biology research into novel drug targets and candidate drugs to address unmet medical need across our two areas of activity, Diseases of the Developing World and Innovative Targets Portfolio.

We are recruiting for an exceptional individual to join us as a Medicinal Chemistry Team Leader within our Drug Discovery Unit (DDU).

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. 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 post is available immediately. Salary will depend on experience but will be in the range £41,526 - £49,553


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 or similar.
  • 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, organizational and communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • An ability to work flexibly and to meet project milestones


For further information about this position please contact Professor Ian Gilbert at

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.

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 DDU is part of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-infectives Research (WCAIR). The DDU has produced 3 clinical candidates since 2013. Over the last 3 years WCAIR has obtained multi-million pounds in grant income to found our activities and published over 85 papers, many in top ranking journals. There is a very interactive and open culture amongst WCAIR’s 170 scientists, with many collaborations between the different groups. There are also many opportunities for sharing and exchanging ideas such as weekly seminars, pizza lunches, 6-monthly symposia and an annual retreat.

WCAIR and the DDU are embedded in the School of Life Sciences which has been consistently rated ‘5-star’ by the UK national Research Assessment Exercise. Dundee has twice been named ‘the best place to work in Europe’ in a poll of scientists conducted by The Scientist magazine. The DDU is housed in a state-of-the-art building with cutting-edge equipment and automation for drug discovery. You can go on a virtual visit of our labs here: and further details for School of Life Sciences facilities and support for staff

Dundee, set on the east coast of Scotland, lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and the Scottish Highlands less than an hour away ( ). The School of Life Sciences is on the University City Campus and has stunning views of the River Tay, Dundee city and Fife.

The city itself has plenty to offer with fantastic visitor attractions such as the striking V&A museum and the RRS Discovery ship, as well as the Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre; Dundee Contemporary Arts; MacManus Gallery and many individual artists. There are many diverse and individual restaurants and pubs creating a bustling nightlife.

The School of Life Sciences has received the Athena SWAN Silver Award which recognises the promotion of gender equality and has made further commitment to advancing inclusive culture, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups.


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 mightnight on 7th June 2021

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