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Chemistry Synthesis Automation Specialist

Astex Pharmaceuticals
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Closing date
31 Dec 2021

Job Details

We are now expanding our capabilities in chemistry automation and machine learning, to address synthesis challenges encountered in FBDD. This includes the establishment of a new, state-of-the-art laboratory on our Cambridge UK site, dedicated to high-throughput and automated synthesis methods.

We have an exciting new role in our medicinal chemistry department for a creative and ambitious scientist with a passion for organic synthesis. You will use your expertise to solve challenging synthesis problems encountered in structure-based design, using cutting-edge synthetic methodology and state-of-the-art automation platforms.   You will be part of the ongoing revolution in organic synthesis and help to drive the expansion of our capabilities in high throughput experimentation and machine learning, and will apply these techniques to structure-driven fragment optimisation. 

The successful applicant will join Astex’s synthesis technology team, working in our newly-constructed automation facility, and be responsible for applying modern methods for C–H functionalisation (such as photoredox and electrochemistry) to the elaboration of fragments.  They will collaborate with other discovery project scientists, including medicinal and computational chemists, in the structure-based design of potent drug development candidates.  There will also be opportunities to publish pioneering research in leading scientific journals and present on the team’s work at conferences.

Required experience, skills, and education:

  • PhD degree in synthetic organic chemistry and experience in an industrial or academic chemistry automation laboratory.
  • Exceptional knowledge of the latest developments in synthetic methodology.
  • Broad experience of high throughput experimentation techniques and a keen interest in new technologies and equipment for organic synthesis.
  • Hands-on experience with a range of solid- and liquid-handling robots is essential and programming skills would be highly desirable.
  • A proven track record of innovation and complex problem-solving is essential.
  • The candidate is expected to have excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and the ability to work collaboratively within multidisciplinary teams.

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

Closing Date: 31st December 2021

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter quoting the appropriate job reference: AS/1121 to

                At Astex we embrace diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse company representing all backgrounds, harnessing industry-leading scientific innovation and behaviours

For information on Astex Pharmaceuticals please visit: 

For information on Otsuka Pharmaceuticals please visit:


Astex is a leader in innovative drug discovery and development, committed to the fight against cancer and diseases of the central nervous system (CNS).

We are a member of one of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies, the Otsuka group, and therefore benefit from the resources and commitment of a global pharmaceutical company.

We are pioneers of fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD)

The most important advance in discovery chemistry in the last 20 years. Our FBDD platform, “Pyramid™”, has been successfully applied to therapeutic targets addressing a variety of disease areas. We also have a number of partnered products arising from drug discovery collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies.

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436 Science Park
Milton Road

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