University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Chemical Biology (Development of PhosTACs)

Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Monday, June 20, 2022
£33,309 - £40,927

We are recruiting for an exceptional individual to join us as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Ciulli lab (Centre for Targeted Protein degradation, School of Life Sciences) to explore targeted dephosphorylation using innovative small heterobifunctional small molecules called Phosphatase TArgeting Chimeras (PhosTACs), which will be developed in collaboration with the Sapkota (MRC-PPU, School of Life Sciences) and Saurin (School of Medicine) labs. This an exciting project is funded by a leading pharmaceutical company based in the United States.

The principle of PhosTACs is similar to that of PROTACs, which are a class of heterobifunctional small molecules that can selectively degrade target proteins by inducing their proximity to a ubiquitin ligase. In the case of PhosTACs, we aim to develop heterobifunctional drugs that induce the proximity of phospho-proteins to a phosphatase, thereby instigating targeted dephosphorylation. If successful, the PhosTACs approach could revolutionise our ability to modulate signalling cascades controlled by protein phosphorylation, thus potentially offering an important new strategy to treat diseases.

This is a unique opportunity to gain experience in world-leading, collaborative and cutting-edge research in one of the hottest area of modern translational chemical biology and drug discovery within an academia-industry collaboration setting with an open-science ethos.

Candidate requirements:
  • A PhD in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology or a related discipline, with an outstanding track record and at least one first authored publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal.
  • Strong background in organic medicinal chemistry and synthetic route design, with expertise in structure-based drug design and/or PROTACs or other bifunctional molecules desirable.
  • Capable of working in a diverse team, but able to plan and work independently.
  • Excellent communication skills and proficiency in English.
The position is fixed-term for 36 months. The appointment will be made on University's Grade 7 salary scale £33,309 - £40,927, dependent on experience.

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant 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. In this case the initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 – 28).

Commitment to DORA

The School of Life Sciences has been fully committed to the principals of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) since 2013. In assessing applicants, we consider the scientific quality of their published research papers, but do not take into account where the papers were published and do not consider journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors.

Additional Information:
The web links detail research in the Ciulli labs (, Sapkota ( and Saurin ( labs. For more information, please contact Alessio Ciulli (
The Ciulli lab is based in the new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) within School of Life Sciences at Dundee University. Due to open in early 2022, CeTPD 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 technology platforms and modalities to advance chemical and biological insights and therapeutic targets related to human diseases. It aspires to achieve this by redefine new models of open collaboration with academic, industrial and venture partners, and by training and inspiring the next-generation of research scientists and leaders.
Situated on a beautiful estuary close to some of Scotland’s most spectacular mountain scenery, Dundee is developing into a major cultural hub. As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. 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.
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 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.
The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC015096.