University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Chemical Biology

Unit: 
Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
SLSC0758
Closing Date: 
Friday, August 28, 2020
Salary: 
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 60 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 Organic Chemist / Chemical Biologist with strong skills in synthetic chemistry to join our Mode of Action Group.

The Mode of Action group (https://modeofactiondundee.org/) determines the mechanisms of action and/or molecular targets of compounds that show promise for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases. Working closely with drug discovery programmes from around the world, the group employs a variety of chemical and biological approaches to provide insight into how compounds kill parasites that cause diseases, such as visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas’ disease. This information can be vitally important in the development of active compounds into the anti-parasitics of the future. Established in 2015, the Mode of Action group has now determined the mechanism of action of more than 25 compounds, including 4 compounds that are now in pre-drug clinical development. Your role within this multi-disciplinary group will be to expand the group’s use of chemical biology methods, in particular chemical proteomics, bio-orthogonal chemistry and photo-affinity labelling.

As a chemist within the Mode of Action group you will design and synthesise a wide variety of chemical probes and tool compounds. You will not be required to have a wide-ranging knowledge of chemical biology, but you will be expected to have a willingness to learn this field.

The Mode of Action group chemists work in purpose-built, world-class chemistry facilities equipped with modern instrumentation including, flow chemistry reactors, parallel and plate-based chemistry apparatus, and mass-directed purification systems.

For further details regarding this exciting opportunity, please contact Dr. Susan Wyllie (s.wyllie@dundee.ac.uk) or Dr. Stephen Patterson (s.z.patterson@dundee.ac.uk).

Your priorities will include:

  • Apply chemical biology and proteomics approaches to determine the molecular targets of anti-parasitic compounds
  • Interpret biological assay data to design novel chemical probes and tool compounds
  • Synthesis, purification and analysis of target molecules
  • Develop new approaches for the synthesis of pull-down probes to support chemical proteomics studies
  • To write reports and presentations to communicate research results to colleagues and collaborators across a range of scientific disciplines
  • Contribute to writing research manuscripts
  • Keep up to date with developments in chemical biology, and identify novel strategies and methodologies that can add value to the Mode of Action group’s studies.

Who we’re looking for:

Desired attributes:

  • Knowledge of chemical biology and chemical proteomics
  • Experience with the use of parallel synthesis and purification apparatus

Required attributes:

  • A PhD (or equivalent) in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biological chemistry, chemical proteomics, or a closely related field
  • Expertise in synthetic organic chemistry, with the ability to independently plan and optimise synthetic routes
  • Good written and verbal communication skills, and an ability to interact effectively with scientists from different disciplines
  • A strong track record in research, ideally demonstrated with research papers and/or patents
  • A willingness to learn and understand the biology underpinning our research projects and if new to the field, methods in chemical biology
  • The ability to work both as part of a team and independently as required
  • Good time management, organisational skills, and a commitment to meet deadlines
  • A willingness to work flexibly and to meet project milestones

Apply Here

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 position is available full time immediately for 2 years in the first instance. Salary will be dependent upon experience, but the appointment will be made at Grade 7 of the University's salary scale (£32,817 - £40,322).

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. The initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 - 28 £29,176 - £31,866).

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 following Government guidance on working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews will take place using a web conferencing system unless both the interview panel and the interview candidate are able to safety travel and meet for face to face interview.

The School of Life Sciences at Dundee:

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. Dundee itself lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and challenging hills.

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.