Head of Computational Chemistry, Drug Discovery Unit.

Job Reference: SLSC1111
Salary: Please refer to advert

Closing Date: Friday, September 9, 2022

Tenured position at Reader/ Professorial Level

We are seeking an experienced computational chemist and drug discoverer to be Head of Computational Chemistry in the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) at the University of Dundee.

This is an exciting position to develop novel computational chemistry methodology (accessing our screening, structural and DMPK data) and apply it to live drug discovery programmes in infectious diseases affecting Low and Middle Income Countries and innovative targets in a range of human diseases.

This is a substantive leadership post in a highly collaborative environment. The successful applicant will be part of the DDU Leadership Team, which steers and leads the organisation. They will also manage a team of 10 computational chemists working on our projects and in method development.

Established for 16 years, The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) in the School of Life Sciences (www.drugdiscovery.dundee.ac.uk/) is a unique, university-based, fully integrated, Biotech-style drug discovery operation with an annual turnover of ~£12M and 130 dedicated scientists, most with a Biotech/Pharma background.

The unit has purpose-built laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment for drug discovery and expertise in assay design, high-throughput and high-content screening, molecular pharmacology, medicinal, computational and analytical chemistry, DMPK and efficacy models. We develop molecules up to and including pre-clinical drug candidates.

Together with our Pharma and Product Development Partners, the DDU has delivered 4 compounds into the clinic, contributed to 7 spin-outs, and has a rich portfolio of programs at the lead-optimisation and hit-to-lead stages.

The DDU has an international reputation for its work on neglected infectious diseases and is a key component of the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research at Dundee (about 70% of our activity).

Our Innovative Targets Portfolio works in collaboration with leading scientists from academia to address novel targets in cancer, inflammation and neurodegeneration, leading to licencing deals and spin-out (about 30% of our activity).

What this post offers

This post offers the successful applicant an opportunity to have a very significant leadership role in a unique discovery team, with opportunities to develop their own computational chemistry methodology to facilitate drug discovery programmes, apply this novel methodology to drug discovery programmes and head a team of computational chemists to support drug discovery programmes. We are interested in developing our artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities within the DDU and have a large database of experimental data for AI/ML training and validation. There is also opportunity for collaboration with structural biologists within the DDU and computational scientists in our Division of Computational Biology

Required Attributes
  • A degree and PhD in a degree related to computational chemistry
  • Experience in developing novel computational methodology related to drug discovery.
  • Experience in computational chemistry applied to drug discovery.
  • Experience in structurally enabled drug discovery programmes.
  • Experience in developing collaborative projects with external partners.
  • An enthusiasm for introducing innovation computational chemistry to support the drug discovery process.
  • Ability to develop and lead multidisciplinary teams of scientists.
  • Ability to present projects internally and externally.
  • Initiative and willingness to work flexibly to meet milestones and deadlines.
  • Excellent decision making, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Experience and/or willingness to write funding applications.

For further information about this position please contact Professor Ian Gilbert at i.h.gilbert@dundee.ac.uk.

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The School of Life Sciences has been fully committed to the principals of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) since 2013. In assessing applicants, we consider the scientific quality of their published research papers, but do not take into account where the papers were published and do not consider journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors.

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.

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.