Section Head of the Structure-Driven Drug Discovery

University of Dundee - Drug Discovery Unit

Open ended contract

We are seeking a highly motivated, proactive and energetic individual to take up a new post of Head of The Structure-Driven Drug Discovery Section at the recently established Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (CAIR).

CAIR is working to facilitate the discovery and development of new drugs for major infectious diseases, e.g. leishmaniasis, malaria, TB. The post will be within the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) , which is part of CAIR. CAIR is housed in a state-of-the-art building with cutting-edge equipment and automation for anti-infectives research.  The Section Head will join a dynamic and multidisciplinary group that covers all aspects of drug discovery up to candidate selection.

You will focus on developing world-leading capabilities in structure-driven drug discovery to enhance depth and quality of the DDU’s drug discovery projects and efficiently deliver a broader portfolio of preclinical candidates. You will lead a Section that encompasses computational chemistry, spectroscopy, biophysical methods, structural biology, protein production and (depending on experience) medicinal chemistry. You will work with your Team Leaders (Computational Chemistry, Structural Biophysics) to develop, implement and oversee the strategic and operational management of the Section. In addition, you will work with the DDU’s medicinal chemistry team leaders to implement best practice in structure-driven drug discovery.

Applicants will have substantial structure-driven drug discovery and/or ligand-design experience gained working in biotech, pharma or academia and will have a track record of influencing working practices, personnel and infrastructure investments to deliver efficient and coordinated capabilities that will help deliver preclinical candidates.


The Section Head of Structure-Driven Drug Discovery will:


  • Establish a compelling overall vision of capacity and capabilities, gaining buy-in and commitment from within CAIR and the DDU to deliver a world class structurally-driven drug discovery capability
    · Operationally and line manage a multidisciplinary Section of up to 25 scientists using biophysical, crystallography, protein production and molecular biology techniques, and (depending on experience) medicinal chemistry
    · Drive integration of the Section with the ongoing drug discovery projects to deliver world class structure-driven drug discovery outcomes
    · Identify new methodologies/equipment to enhance the delivery of the Section and deliver successful grant applications to expand existing infrastructure
    · Strengthen the culture of collaboration and develop networks with stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally
    · Represent CAIR at meetings and events both within the University and externally, to interact with external organisations and funding bodies


Applicants will have a minimum of a science PhD, together with significant managerial experience gained from working in a research environment. In addition, the successful candidate will have hands on experience in one of the disciplines encompassed by the Section.

For further information please click on the apply button below.

The University of Dundee is a diverse community and is committed to equality of opportunity for all by providing a supportive, flexible and inclusive working environment.  We have family friendly policies (including flexible working and childcare vouchers), staff groups for LGBT and BME; and prayer room facilities.

The University of Dundee has received the Athena SWAN Bronze Award (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/about/athenaswan/) which recognises the promotion of gender equality and has made further commitment to advancing inclusive culture which supports and encourages all under-represented groups.

The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC015096.

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Scotland