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Synthetic Medicinal Chemist

University of Dundee - Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery

Location: Dundee
Salary: £32,817 to £40,322 ZZDNU(2020) Grade 7.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 3rd September 2021
Closes: 29th September 2021
Job Ref: SLSC0922

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) ( is a fully integrated drug discovery operation and is a globally acknowledged centre of excellence for drug discovery. The DDU collaborates with partners to translate world-class biology research into novel drug targets and candidate drugs to address unmet medical need across our two areas of activity, Diseases of the Developing World and Innovative Targets Portfolio.

We are looking for a highly motivated medicinal chemist. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to drug discovery projects as part of multi-disciplinary teams.

The position, offers you an opportunity to grow your expertise and track record by having a key role in delivering drug candidates that address major global diseases, developing your medicinal chemistry and drug discovery skills, and helping to drive innovation and best practice within the drug discovery approaches of a world-leading university-based drug discovery group.

The post is available immediately. Salary will depend upon experience and will be on the University's Grade 7 Salary Scale. 

Your responsibilities:

  • 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.
  • Synthesis, purification and evaluation of compounds across projects.
  • Reaction sequence scouting, proposal and implementation.
  • Data analysis, quality assurance protocols and evaluation of biological data.
  • Prepare methods and synthesis schemes for patents.
  • Write publications where feasible.

Your qualifications:

  • A PhD in synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, or a related discipline, ideally with subsequent experience, or a BSc in chemistry and subsequent experience of synthetic or medicinal chemistry in the pharmaceutic or related industries.
  • 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.
  • Experience in the biopharma industry and an understanding and appreciation of the drug discovery process would be advantageous.

The DDU is part of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-infectives Research (WCAIR). The DDU has produced 3 clinical candidates since 2013. Over the last 3 years WCAIR has obtained multi-million pounds in grant income to fund our activities and published over 85 papers, many in top ranking journals.

The Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery Division and Drug Discovery Unit operate on an external funding basis.

Dundee, set on the east coast of Scotland, close to large sandy beaches and the Scottish Highlands less than an hour away (

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. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well as a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

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