University of Dundee

Cell Biology Scientist (PROTAC drug discovery)

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, December 19, 2021
Grade 7 (£33,309 - £40,927)

About the Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD)

Within the University of Dundee, the newly announced Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD, due to open in early 2022 is being created as a first of its kind Centre leading a number of internationally significant projects in the burgeoning new area of translational chemical biology and targeted protein degradation. The goal of CeTPD is to innovate a next-generation of small-molecule platforms and modalities to advance chemical and biological insights and therapeutic targets related to human diseases. It aspires to achieve this by openly collaborating with academic, industrial and venture partners, and by training and inspiring the next-generation of research scientists and leaders.

We are seeking a highly motivated scientist with research experience in cell biology to join a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team within our expanding Centre based at the University of Dundee. 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 and other human diseases with serious unmet medical needs. 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 posts are available to start immediately. Salary will depend on experience and will be up to £40,927. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in world-leading industry-style drug discovery within an academic setting. The position is available until 31st December 2023 in the first instance.

Location:  The postholder will be based at the newly refurbished CeTPD Complex, adjacent to the Life Sciences Complex.

Your 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)


  • A minimum of a 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

Desirable 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

Appointment on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD or having equivalent post-graduate industrial experience. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. In this case the initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 - 28).

About the School of Life Sciences & University of Dundee

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 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.

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 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.

The University of Dundee and the School of Life Science hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award, which recognises the promotion of gender equality. We strongly believe that diversity in our staff is crucial for our creativity and success and are committed to advance our inclusive culture by supporting and encouraging all staff and provide bespoke support as required for under-represented groups.

The University of Dundee is a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat and is committed to enhancing the research environment and culture. Engagement and support of activities which assist the researcher development agenda at the University is therefore essential.

For further information about this position please contact Professor Alessio Ciulli at

The Closing Date is 19th December 2021

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