Senior Computational Chemist

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The DDU is a fully integrated “Biotech style” drug discovery organisation with cutting edge facilities ( passionate about tackling unmet medical need. There are two areas of activity: drug discovery for globally important neglected and emerging infectious diseases (including TB, malaria, coronaviruses), that affect millions of people across the world every year and Innovative Targets across a variety of different diseases.

The DDU works to BioPharma philosophy and standards, incorporating a dynamic, goal driven project management strategy based on Target Product Profiles and Compound Selection Criteria.  The team of 130 scientists, has extensive experience of all aspects of drug discovery gained within the BioPharma industry. The exceptional skill set within a university enables the DDU to work with major BioPharma and technology companies and world-class Life Sciences research partners, to improve how high quality drug discovery is carried out for these diseases.

The DDU are recruiting for a highly motivated and expert Senior Computational Chemist to join Computational Chemistry. At grade 8 of the University's pay scale (currently £42,149 - £50,296), this is a high responsibility role that offers you the opportunity to play an influential role in shaping the direction of the Computational Chemistry team and to contribute to the DDU drug discovery effort working collaboratively with medicinal chemists, structural biologists, biologists and biophysicists. It also provides an opportunity to:

  • be a part of a world-leading university-based drug discovery group
  • contribute to developing in-depth knowledge and improving our drug discovery process
  • contribute to delivering drug candidates that address major global diseases.

The team (currently 10 people) offers a multicultural environment and comprises a variety of computational chemistry backgrounds (molecular modelling, molecular dynamics, quantum mechanics, machine learning, chemoinformatics, artificial intelligence). The team is fully embedded in the drug discovery process providing industry standard molecular modelling solutions and is developing a platform for compounds optimisation combining quantum mechanics, machine learning and artificial intelligence generative approaches. The Team benefits from HPC capabilities, industry standard molecular modelling software (Schrodinger, Optibrium, Molecular Discovery) and a wide portfolio of additional computational tools.

The successful candidate will report to the Head of Computational Chemistry and will:

  • Collaborate within interdisciplinary discovery teams (internally and with external collaborators) to define project strategy, and drive execution
  • Act as a computational chemistry lead for at least one of the DDU disease portfolios, leading and coordinating the work of other computational chemists.
  • Leverage computational chemistry methods and tools to the development of innovative solutions to help drive the development of our compounds from hit to lead optimisation
  • Lead evaluation of enzyme classes as potential drug targets
  • Drive the further development of our compound optimisation platform
  • Use timely decision making to ensure focus and delivery of key project/team objectives. Promote high levels of productivity and urgency
  • Line manage and mentor junior team members. setting their goals and deliverables, carrying out their appraisals, and ensure appropriate training is available and undertaken.
  • Coordinate HPC resources and act as interface with IT

Candidate Requirements:

  • Highly motivated, self-directed individuals qualified with a PhD in Computational Chemistry or related subjects, and several years of postdoctoral experience in computational drug discovery
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas related to drug discovery: Quantum Mechanics, Molecular Dynamics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence
  • Knowledge of concepts related to drug discovery and development
  • Knowledge of python programming is desirable
  • Experience with high performance computing
  • A strong knowledge of the latest innovations and technology in computational chemistry, and an openness to explore new methods for drug discovery
  • The ability to properly report, organise and publish research data
  • The willingness to contribute to scientific publications
  • Strong solution-oriented attitude
  • High motivation to learn
  • Spirit of innovation and creativity
  • Good time and priority management
  • Ability to work independently, and in close collaboration with in-house discovery scientists and external collaborators as part of a team
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • Strong team work  

Additional Information:
The salary is in the range of £42,149 - £50,296 based on experience. The post is available immediately. A relocation package is also available.

The Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery Division and Drug Discovery Unit operate on an external funding basis. The Principal Investigators within these units are highly successful in securing external funding for their multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative research and activities.

To find out more about this post and how to apply please click here.