Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral Research Associate

2 days left

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (GB)
07 Nov 2019
18 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Title:       Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral Research Associate

Project Title:  Cutting Edge Synthetic Technologies for FBDD

Job Type:       3 Year Fixed Term Contract, Full Time

Location:        Cambridge, UK

Astex Pharmaceuticals is a world leader in innovative drug discovery and development. The company has successfully applied its proprietary Fragment-Based Drug Discovery platform to generate multiple new drug candidates that are progressing in clinical development.  Successful collaborations have led to two launched oncology drugs (Kisqali® partnered with Novartis and BalversaTM partnered with Janssen). Astex continues to grow and focuses on Oncology and Neurological Disorders.


                                                                                                                                            ...UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL  

The Astex Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral research program has a track record of performing cutting-edge research and development and is a key element of our excellent scientific culture. During your SI Postdoc project you will be exposed to a multi-disciplinary pharma environment. You’ll benefit from our internal training seminars that will enhance your understanding of the drug discovery process. As part of your career development, you will have the opportunity to present your work within the company and at external meetings and you’ll be expected to publish your findings in high-impact journals.

Among the key challenges for FBDD are (i) the design and synthesis of fragments with novel binding motifs; and (ii) the development of new chemical methods allowing direct fragment elaboration and late-stage functionalization of lead-like compounds. Astex is building an automated synthesis platform to apply cutting edge synthetic methodologies (e.g. C–H activation, photoredox, electrochemistry, flow techniques) to address this need.  In order to further develop the platform, Astex is calling for applications for a Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral position in Synthetic Organic Chemistry.

The position calls for a highly-skilled organic chemist with a comprehensive knowledge of the latest developments in synthetic organic methodology. The individual will use automated synthesis techniques to develop cutting-edge methodology for fragment growing and late-stage functionalisation. This work will be publishable in high-impact journals, generating opportunities for external presentation at international scientific conferences.

Candidate Requirements

  • PhD in synthetic organic chemistry (including candidates who have submitted but not yet received their PhD).
  • Excellent understanding of synthetic organic chemistry and knowledge of the literature is essential.  Experience with modern methodology is highly desirable, for example C–H activation, photoredox catalysis, asymmetric reactions, organocatalysis.  Experience in automation technologies (e.g. continuous flow, machine-assisted synthesis) is also desirable.
  • The ability to plan and execute research objectives in an independent fashion is essential.
  • A proven track record of innovation and solving complex problems is essential, as demonstrated by publication of synthesis research articles in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.
  • The candidate is expected to have excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and the ability to work collaboratively within multidisciplinary teams.

We offer excellent training and career development opportunities as well as competitive salary and benefits package.  

Closing Date: 18th November 2019

To apply please send your CV and a cover letter, quoting the job reference:  SI-C001 to


For information on Astex Pharmaceuticals please visit:

and for information on Otsuka Pharmaceuticals please visit:


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