Head of Computational Chemistry

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The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) are seeking an experienced computational chemist and drug discoverer to be Head of Computational Chemistry.
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 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).

The DDU's 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.

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high-quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 40 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

The University of Dundee is one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. There are also campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

The University of Dundee is a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat and is committed to enhancing the research environment and culture. Engagement and support of activities which assist the researcher development agenda at the University is therefore essential. 

For further information about this position and how to apply please click here.