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Senior Researcher (Chemistry)

MRC NATA

Location: Harwell
Salary: £48,802 to £52,172 dependent on skills and experience. Band – MRC-3a-S2
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 30th April 2024
Closes: 30th May 2024

The Medical Research Council (MRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), have invested a total of £30m over 4 years through the Strategic Priorities Fund to establish a nucleic acid therapy accelerator (NATA) that will support state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research to solve critical issues in nucleic acid drug delivery, through focused NATA research challenges and a NATA infrastructure hub. This will be an internationally unique resource, drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies, anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.

The NATA will focus on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs. This investment will support capacity building in terms of equipment, upskilling and domain expertise that will be essential in developing critical mass to catalyse and de-risk the development of next generation nucleic acid medicines.

The NATA has the opportunity to establish a new industrial sector attracting and developing highly skill jobs with the potential of the UK being the leader in the field where global nucleic acid therapies market is expected to be £6 billion by 2025.

The Role

The senior scientist will be critical in supporting the NATA chemistry department by being a key member of the chemistry team supporting the design, synthesis and development of new and novel therapeutic oligonucleotides for various translational and collaborative projects. The successful candidate will both work independently and be part of project teams. This individual will be involved in the design, development and testing of novel chemical modalities for Nucleic Acid delivery. This position will also include the optimization of the synthesis of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics in the direction of maximizing their potency, minimizing side effects, and employing other beneficial features that improve their therapeutic precision and impact.

Main Responsibilities

  • Serve as a key member in optimizing current Nucleic Acid Therapeutic platform, development of new chemical modalities and production of multiple lead compounds.
  • Play an active role in synthesis, purification and analysis of novel nucleosides, phosphoramidites and oligonucleotides with minimal supervision.
  • Contribute actively to synthetic route designing, implementing new techniques and methods.
  • Contribute to advanced conjugation chemistry.
  • Recognise opportunities for the creation of intellectual property and cooperate in patent protection and exploitation.
  • Write and submit manuscripts for publication with the Chemistry Lead R and I.
  • Managing chemistry laboratory resources efficiently and troubleshooting equipment and synthetic procedures.
  • Conducting quality control and preparing data sheets.
  • Keeping excellent scientific records and implementing databases.
  • Presenting work internally, externally and contributing to lab meetings.
  • Provide regular updates on project status to the Chemistry Lead R and I.
  • Participate in supervising R & D activities at external contract research organizations.
  • Maintaining an up to date and deep understanding of relevant literature.
  • Work effectively with collaborators.
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