Graduate Junior Medicinal Chemist - Internship

£4,000 for 3 months
07 Jun 2017
29 Jun 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

An excellent opportunity for a Graduate Chemist to join Keregen: Winner of the world’s largest Biotech Start-up Accelerator! The company won the OneStart Europe competition in 2015, and has established a strong advisory network with expertise ranging from early drug discovery to scientific leadership and business development. Keregen is committed to excellence across all aspects of its work and is looking to secure initial investment to accelerate development activities.

 Royal Society of Chemistry         Image result for keregen

Salary: £4,000 for 3 months internship  
Holidays: 6 days + Bank holidays   
Working Hours:  10:00-18:00 Monday to Friday  
Interview dates:  Week commencing 17th July 2017   
Start date:  31st July 2017 
Degree / relevant disciplines: Chemistry BSc, MChem Pharmacy BSc, MPharm or related scientific discipline with postgraduate studies in medicinal chemistry or drug discovery 
Please note: only GRADUATES will be considered for this vacancy 
Closing Date: 29th June 2017

About Keregen Therapeutics 

Is a UK-based spin-out from the School of Pharmacy, University College London. Keregen Therapeutics is an early stage drug discovery company founded in late 2015, after winning the global bio-entrepreneurship competition, OneStart. The company is focused on the development of first generation small molecule therapies that slow or stop the progression of complex degenerative diseases for which there is unmet clinical need. The principle R&D program, which is in the early lead optimization stage, is to advance proprietary selective Nrf2 activators for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. 

Job role 

The intern will be mainly involved in research activities that support our primary R&D program, aiming to develop small inhibitors of the Keapl-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction (PPI) as therapeutic agents for treating neurodegeneration in Parkinson's Disease. The key tasks will be to conduct medicinal chemistry studies to aid the development of our lead chemical series and support the exemplification of the related patent application. During the first two weeks of the internship, the intern will work closely with the supervisor and his academic collaborator at UCL (Dr Geoff Wells) to perform the in silico drug design aspects of the project. More specifically, the intern will screen small virtual libraries of analogues based on our existing structure-activity relationship (SAR) data and will analyse the predicted binding modes. 

During weeks 3 - 11, the intern will synthesis a small set of promising analogues identified through the virtual screening exercise. With the help of the supervisor, the intern will apply our existing synthetic chemistry methodology to design short synthetic routes to the target compounds and carry out the chemical synthesis, purify cat ion, and spectroscopic characterisation experiments. The intern will also perform the biological screening of the compounds (weeks 12 - 13) to assess their binding affinity (fluorescence polarisation and differential scanning fluorimetry Keapl inhibition assays) and support the SAR of this chemical series.

Job accountabilities 

The intern will join our existing medicinal chemistry research group and will learn to work effectively as part of our team and contribute to our overall goals. He will have the opportunity to present his results in our weekly laboratory meetings, improving therefore his communication and presentations skills.The intern will mostly work under supervision; however, he will be required to take responsibility for his work and time. This will allow him to develop effective time management and personal organisation skills in order to meet specific deadlines and balance several tasks, whilst improving his problem solving and decision making skills by dealing with problems that may arise during the proposed research activities 

The interdisciplinary nature of the proposed project will provide the opportunity for the intern to expand their knowledge set and receive technical skill training in three key areas: 

  1. Molecular modelling: The training will involve learning new software packages (e.g. Autodock Vina, Autodock tool s, Chimera, ChemBio3D) and utilising them to perform docking experiments and rationalise the structure-activity relationships of the chemical series.
  2. Synthetic medicinal chemistry: Working closely with the supervisor, the intern will strengthen his technical skills in multi-step organic synthesis, gain further experience in the purification of organic compounds, and develop the ability to operate chromatographic and spectroscopic instrumentation (e.g. NM R, HPLC, LC-MS, IR) 
  3. Biophysical assays: The intern will gain knowledge and hands-on experience in high-throughput screening by testing the compounds in our in-house FP and DSF assays 


Technical Skills:  


  • Knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry and standard compound purification and characterisation techniques (HPLC, NM R, flash chromatography)
  • Previous laboratory experience in small molecule synthesis 


  • Training in molecular modelling and/or biophysical screening (FP and DSF assays) will be considered an asset
  • Previous working experience in the field of neurodegeneration or protein-protein interactions will be considered an asset


Essential: Experience in using chemical structure drawing software (ChemDraw or ChemSketch) 
Desirable: Experience in using the Chimera and/or Autodock Vina software  

Soft Skills 


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Committed to maintain a safe laboratory environment and follow safety procedures
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Transferable skills

Relevant disciplines 

GRADUATES only: Chemistry BSc, MChem Pharmacy BSc, MPharm or related scientific discipline with postgraduate studies in medicinal chemistry or drug discovery 

  • Graduate
  • Postgraduates
  • PhD
  • Person returning to work after a career break 

Additional Information

Please ensure that you are willing and able to live within commutable distance of the company site before applying. This placement is located in London. Cogent Life Science Placements Service are managing the recruitment for this internship at our client's request, therefore we ask that applications are made through our website please.  

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. 54, 000 members and a worldwide knowledge business that spans the globe, it is the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 175 years of history and an international vision for the future. The Royal Society of Chemistry as part of its small companies programme, EnterprisePlus ( has granted a small number of companies funding for internships for those already graduated including those returning to work. You will need to be a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry by the time you take up the internship and can join here If you have an gross income (before tax) income below £26,000 you can access a 50% discount below per annum  Membership also include significant career support including face to face or telephone career consultations