Portfolio Leader: Coronavirus Portfolio in the Drug Discovery Unit, Dundee

£52,560, and £59,135 (Grade 9)
18 Dec 2020
24 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Portfolio Leader: Coronavirus Portfolio in the Drug Discovery Unit, Dundee

The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), University of Dundee is seeking a highly motivated and expert medicinal chemist to lead the DDU’s coronavirus drug discovery programme to deliver novel broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus drugs.

The successful applicant will use scientific and organisational "know-how" to deliver candidates for pre-clinical development by leading the science and setting strategy. The appointee will lead and drive interactions between the programme’s medicinal chemists, biologists, computational chemists and the DMPK experts within the DDU team, and the broad range of collaborations (industry and academia) required to progress a portfolio of hit and lead optimisation projects.

Prior experience of anti-viral drug discovery is not essential; however, you will need to develop an understanding of the biology of coronavirus and resulting diseases; the current treatments, and the drug discovery landscape around the disease.

The Senior Team Leader will:


  • Develop an understanding of the disease; the current treatments, an understanding of the biology of the organism and the drug discovery landscape around the disease.
  • Monitor the performance of the team against its agreed goals, deliverables and timelines. Raise issues with the DDU Senior Leadership Team and individuals to rectify performance concerns. 
  • Ensure appropriate reporting of progress to the relevant funding bodies.
  • Manage the day to day operation of the team.
  • Ensure that the members of the team adhere to Health and Safety regulations.
  • Identify training opportunities for members of the team
  • Direct line management of a number of people within the team, which will include setting their goals and deliverables, carrying out their appraisals, and ensure appropriate training is available and undertaken.
  • Co-ordinate recruitment of staff where appropriate.
  • Provide reports (written and oral) internally and to collaborators and funding agencies.
  • Where required co-ordinate drafting of patents with the University of Dundee Intellectual Property Office
  • Together with the Finance Officer, monitor the spending and assign the resources as required by the project.
  • Draft publications and encourage and assist team members to write publications.
  • Present work, where appropriate at scientific conferences.
  • Contribute to the overall running of the DDU, encouraging innovation and best practice.

Networking, Promotions, Communication, External Relations

  • Build interactions with current collaborators and funding agencies. Where appropriate develop new interactions.
  • Represent the DDU at meetings and events both within the University and externally, to interact with external organisations and funding bodies.
  • Internally establish good working relations with other disciplines with the DDU: hit discovery, computational chemistry, biophysical methods, drug metabolism & pharmacokinetics.
  • Attend quarterly review meetings from other teams within the DDU and contribute ideas and suggestions where appropriate.

Required attributes include:

  • Candidates must be professionally qualified with a PhD in a chemical science related discipline with demonstratable expertise in medicinal and synthetic chemistry design.
  • Understanding and appreciation of the drug discovery process, including the interactions between biology, drug metabolism & pharmacokinetics, computational & medicinal and chemistry structural biology.
  • Substantial experience of leading successful medicinal chemistry projects in the BioPharma industry or a professional drug discovery environment
  • Evidence of key role taking a project(s) through preclinical candidate selection to clinical candidate selection
  • Strong interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
  • Experience of leadership of multi-disciplinary teams
  • Experience of successful working with collaborators and/or in consortiums
  • Excellent time management, organisational and communication skills
  • A demonstrable ability to work flexibly and to meet project milestones

The post is available for an immediate start and the appointment will be on an open-ended contract. Salary will be dependent upon experience, but will be between £52,560, and £59,135 (Grade 9).

The Drug Discovery Unit operates on an external funding basis. The Principal Investigators within this unit are highly successful in securing external funding for their multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative research and activities.

For further information about this position please contact Professor Paul Wyatt at p.g.wyatt@dundee.ac.uk.

Full job role and online application can be found at https://www.dundee.ac.uk/hr/uodrecruitment/jobvacancies/  Ref SLSC0820.

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. The University of Dundee has received the Athena SWAN Bronze Award (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/about/athenaswan/) which recognises the promotion of gender equality and has made further commitment to advancing inclusive culture, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups.