University of Dundee

Synthetic Medicinal Chemist

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Please refer to advert

Grade 6 and 7 (£26,715 - £40,322)

The Drug Discovery Unit ( is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment. Its remit is to complement biopharma activities by tackling neglected diseases and validation of novel drug targets across a range of 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.

We are looking for highly motivated medicinal chemists with a BSc or PhD in synthetic organic or medicinal chemistry. You will ideally have subsequent experience in the biopharma industry. Posts are primarily lab based and of particular interest to talented synthetic chemists who wish to learn medicinal chemistry and drug discovery in a professional drug discovery environment. The successful candidates will be expected to contribute to drug discovery projects as part of multi-disciplinary teams.

The posts are available immediately and salary will depend upon experience, but will be in the range £26,715 to £40,322.

Your responsibilities:

• Work closely with biologists to drive structure-guided optimisation and generate structure-activity relationships 

• Synthesis, purification and evaluation of compounds across projects

• Reaction sequence scouting, proposal and implementation

• Data analysis, quality assurance protocols and evaluation of biological data

• Produce verbal and written reports in a timely fashion

In addition, for Grade 7

• Evaluate small molecule hits from high throughput screens, proposing early optimisation strategies to identify promising leads

• Design new compounds and libraries based upon SAR, medicinal chemistry interpretation and DMPK data

• Enable project flowchart triage including in vitro and in vivo DMPK profiling

• Prepare methods and synthesis schemes for patents

• Act as a liaison for external outsource and write publications where feasible

Your qualifications:

• BSc in chemistry or PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry or a related discipline

• Expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and synthetic route design

• Excellent written, oral and interpersonal skills

• Capable of team work but also able to plan and work independently

• Good time management, organisational and communication skills

• A willingness to work flexibly to meet deadlines

• Experience in the biopharma industry and an understanding/appreciation of the drug discovery process would be advantageous

• Experience in working in techniques such as flow chemistry and parallel chemistry would be advantageous

The successful candidate will be based within the DDU and School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee.

A few facts about The School of Life Sciences at Dundee:

• The School of Life Sciences has over 900 research and support staff from 59 countries and external funding in excess of £40 million per year.

• Dundee has twice been named ‘the best place to work in Europe’ in a poll of scientists conducted by The Scientist magazine.

• The School of Life Sciences has been consistently rated ‘5-star’ (highest rating) by the UK national Research Assessment Exercise.

For further information about the area and the top reasons to live and work in Dundee;

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The diversity of our staff and students makes 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 workplace.