University of Dundee

Synthetic Medicinal Chemist - Spain

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Please refer to advert

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 (DDU) ( is a fully integrated drug discovery operation based within a world class Life Sciences research environment. It is a dynamic and multidisciplinary group of 95 scientists with expertise in compound handling, assay development, high-throughput screening, medicinal and computational chemistry and in vitro and in vivo pharmacokinetics. The unit is housed in a state-of-the-art building and has cutting-edge equipment and automation for hit-discovery and lead optimisation.

We are recruiting for two exceptional individuals to join us as Medicinal Chemists within our Drug Discovery Unit, to join an antibacterial drug discovery project funded by the Tres Cantos OpenLab Foundation ( in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline. One post will be at Grade 7 and one post at Grade 6.

These posts will be based at the GlaxoSmithKline research facility in Tres Cantos, Spain (near to Madrid).

You will ideally have subsequent experience in the biopharma industry. The posts will be primarily laboratory 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 from 1st March 2021 for 12 months and salary will depend upon experience, but will be in the range £26,715 to £40,322.

Your priorities will include:

At Grade 6:

  • Work closely with biologists to drive structure-guided optimisation and to generate structure-activity relationships (SAR)
  • Synthesis, purification and evaluation of compounds across projects
  • Reaction sequence scouting, proposal and implementation
  • Data analysis, quality assurance protocols and evaluation of biological data
  • As called upon, produce verbal and written reports in a timely fashion

In addition for Grade 7

  • Evaluate small molecule hits from screens, proposing early optimisation strategies to identify promising leads
  • Design new compounds and libraries based upon SAR, medicinal chemistry interpretation, structural biology and DMPK data
  • Enable project flowchart triage including in vitro and in vivo DMPK profiling
  • Prepare methods and synthesis schemes for patents
  • Write publications where feasible

Who we are looking for:

Required attributes:

  • A 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 communication skills
  • Capable of working in a team, but able to plan and work independently
  • Good time management, organisational and communication skills
  • A willingness to work flexibly to meet project milestones

Preferred attributes:

  • Experience and background in Biotech, CRO or Pharma industry
  • Understanding and appreciation of the drug discovery process.

Apply Here

A few facts about The Tres Cantos Open lab foundation and GSK R&D site at Tres Cantos

GSK Tres Cantos R&D ( is the company´s centre for drug discovery in global health infectious diseases. The unit is formed by more than 120 scientists working in malaria, tuberculosis, kinetoplastids and pediatric AMR. This multidisciplinary groups gathers expertise in target-based and phenotypic high throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, in vitro and in vivo biology as well as in vitro and in vivo DMPKT. In addition, the centre is fully integrated within the broader GSK R&D organisation and has access to all the capabilities and infrastructure available in other GSK R&D sites.

The Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation is an independent UK-based charity that aims to support scientists to advance projects focussed on the delivery of treatments for infectious diseases in developing countries. Thanks to the GSK-TCOLF partnership, project funding is combined with access to GSK industrial facilities and expertise. The co-location of Open Lab fellows and GSK scientists creates highly effective scientific collaborations.

For further information about this position please contact Professor Ian Gilbert at To find out more about Group/Unit/Team/School please visit (

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.