Postdoc: Enantioselective Methods For Atropisomer Synthesis

Macclesfield, UK

Competitive Salary, Bonus & Benefits

Do you have expertise in synthetic organic chemistry, and a passion for discovering new reactions and developing novel, pioneering methodology? Are you ready to follow the science, apply your expertise, and impact the development of new life changing medicines at AstraZeneca? Then this exciting opportunity could be for you!

About AstraZeneca:

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-centered biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious disease. But we’re more than one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we ‘re dedicated to being a Great Place to Work where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and fuel your entrepreneurial spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society.

About the Postdoc Programme:

Bring your expertise, apply your knowledge, follow the science and make a difference.

AstraZeneca’s Postdoc Programme is for self-motivated individuals looking to tackle exciting, high impact projects in a collaborative, engaging and innovative environment. You’ll work with peers and professionals from a diverse group of backgrounds, and a world class academic mentor specifically aligned to your project. We’ll help you develop valuable networks which support your research and future career development!

AstraZeneca Postdocs are respected as specialists and encouraged to speak up. They lead ground-breaking drug discovery and development research projects. Our vibrant, multi-disciplinary scientific teams empower and support our Postdocs, and we encourage them to share their research at conferences, publish papers, achieve their goals and make a difference to our patients.

You’ll learn from industry leaders working on innovative research across our organization. Our Postdoc Training Programme will support you to develop transferrable skills from influencing others to shape the agenda, to data analysis.

About the Opportunity:

Leading this research you will develop new, selective methodologies that allow access to novel, drug-like scaffolds or that significantly simplifies current routes to targets. These more sustainable, simpler routes will help shorten the drug discovery process.

You will demonstrate the benefit of understanding in silico catalyst design and reaction kinetics to identify new catalysts for the syntheses of novel compounds.

Atropisomers occur when the steric strain around a single bond restricts free rotation allowing for isolation of the two different stereoisomers. They are found in a wide range of organic molecules including polymers and natural products however importantly they are also found in an increasing number of marketed drugs and drug candidates. Despite their frequency, the selective synthesis of such molecules is a huge challenge. Furthermore, the selective synthesis of tetra-ortho-substituted biaryls (a class of atropisomer) is currently an unmet synthetic need.

Primarily based in AstraZeneca’s cutting-edge laboratory in Macclesfield, you will design and synthesise novel organocatalysts and metal catalysts for the synthesis of hindered-biaryls. You will then demonstrate the use of these catalysts by synthesising pharmaceutically relevant molecules. You’ll benefit from our high throughput screening lab to accelerate reaction optimisation and methodology testing, and our world class analytical suite for monitoring reactions and analysing products. You will also collaborate with the academic co-supervisor Professor Andrew Smith (University of St. Andrews) who will provide insight and mentorship. AstraZeneca’s experts can also offer training in computational chemistry to support mechanism rationalisation and catalyst design.

Qualification, Skills & Experience


  • A PhD (or equivalent) aligned to organic synthesis and/or catalysis.
  • The ability to independently lead a project, design and complete experiments, anticipate technical problems, develop contingency plans and interpret results
  • Knowledge of the theory and practice of modern synthetic methodology and an interest in reaction mechanisms
  • A rigorous and analytical approach, with strong scientific judgement
  • Strong communication skills
  • Good networking, collaboration and teamworking skills
  • Ability to see opportunities, learn, and apply that learning to drive innovation


  • Strong working knowledge of principles used to develop synthetic organic methodology
  • A strong scientific track record, demonstrated by peer reviewed published or accepted papers, or oral presentations at scientific meetings
  • Experience working with computational tools
  • Prior experience of working on cross-disciplinary/ global project teams.

This is a 3-year programme. 2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1-year extension which will be merit based.

Ready for an exciting, rewarding challenge? Apply today!

Advert Opens: 26th October, 2021

Advert Closes: 5th December, 2021

If you require any reasonable adjustments or accommodations during your application or interview process, please let us know.

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