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Associate Scientist, Structural Biophysics

University of Dundee - Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery

Location: Dundee
Salary: £29,614 to £32,344 Grade 7 Training.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 17th November 2021
Closes: 19th December 2021
Job Ref: SLSC0977

Reporting Line Manager: Collaboration Leader (Dr. William Farnaby) and Senior Drug Discovery Scientist
Duration of employment: until 31st December 2023

About the Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD)
Within the University of Dundee, the newly announced Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) due to open in early 2022 is being created as a first of its kind Centre leading a number of internationally significant projects in the burgeoning new area of translational chemical biology and targeted protein degradation. The goal of CeTPD is to innovate a next-generation of small-molecule platforms and modalities to advance chemical and biological insights and therapeutic targets related to human diseases. It aspires to achieve this by openly collaborating with academic, industrial and venture partners, and by training and inspiring the next generation of research scientists and leaders.

We are seeking to appoint an Associate Scientist, Structural Biophysics to join our expanding Centre based at the University of Dundee. These new roles will be embedded within a multi-disciplinary drug discovery team engaged in structure based PROTAC design in an exciting collaboration between the University of Dundee and Boehringer Ingelheim. The joint team’s mission is to discover novel small-molecule degraders to treat cancers with serious unmet medical needs. The successful candidates will support the on-going discovery efforts of this collaboration team, as well as of the wider CeTPD group.

This is an exceptional opportunity to develop skills in protein science, structural biology and biophysics techniques alongside experienced professionals, on high profile drug discovery projects. It is expected that as part of the role the successful candidates will be fully involved in all aspects of project team life including travelling for in-person meetings with collaborators. The role be varied, with exposure to a range of projects and opportunities for short placements in other disciplines within the collaboration team such as cell biology and medicinal chemistry.

Principal duties
You will be responsible for the production and evaluation of purified proteins and their binding interactions with small molecules that will inform project teams on PROTAC drug design. It will also be expected that the successful candidate keeps accurate records of all experimental work and presents their results at team meetings.

Role Responsibilities:

  • Express and purify proteins to support project critical assays.
  • Execute and optimize binding assays in vitro to profile novel compounds (including but not limited to proximity and fluorescence-based assays, ITC, and SPR).
  • Characterize the binding of small molecule bifunctional degraders to their target protein and E3 ligases using X-ray crystallography.
  • Collect and analyse experimental data and identify next steps based on outcomes.
  • Prepare presentations and present updates and research outcomes at both internal CeTPD meetings and external meetings with collaborators.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Alessio Ciulli, e-mail: a.ciulli@dundee.ac.uk.

Additional Information:
The new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation, embedded within the University of Dundee’s School of Life Sciences, is part of a growing Life Sciences Innovation District driving innovation and economic growth in Dundee. As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. Family friendly policies, staff support networks for BME and LGBT staff, membership of Athena Swan and Stonewall, as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

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