Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral Research Associate (Ref: SI-MC21)

Project Title:  Synthetic Chemistry Technologies for Fragment Based Drug Discovery

Job Type:  3 year Fixed term Contract, Full Time

Astex Pharmaceuticals is a world leader in innovative drug discovery and development. The company has successfully applied its proprietary Fragment-Based Drug Discovery (FBDD) 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.

Astex’s Sustaining Innovation Post-Doctoral research program aims to maintain and further develop the Company’s excellent scientific culture by fostering fundamental research in areas of interest to the drug discovery field, while working with leading scientists in both the biotech sector and academia.

As part of the Sustaining Innovation program, Astex now has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to utilise Astex’s state-of-the-art automated synthesis capabilities to develop and apply cutting edge synthetic methodologies (e.g. C–H activation, photoredox, electrochemistry, flow techniques) to address the synthetic challenges faced in FBDD.  The individual will focus on methods for fragment growing and late-stage functionalisation and contribute to the further development of Astex’s automated synthesis platform.  This work will be publishable in high-impact journals, generating opportunities for external presentation at international scientific conferences.

The position calls for a highly motivated and skilled organic chemist with a comprehensive knowledge of the latest developments in the field, and a proven track record of self-directed research as shown through a strong publication record.

Candidate Requirements

  • A PhD in a relevant field – synthetic organic chemistry, flow chemistry, chemistry automation etc.
  • Excellent understanding of synthetic organic chemistry and knowledge of the literature is essential.
  • Experience with modern synthetic methodology is highly desirable, for example C–H activation, transition-metal catalysis, photoredox catalysis, electrochemistry etc.
  • Experience in automation technologies (e.g. continuous flow, machine-assisted parallel 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 complex problem-solving 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.

To apply please send your CV and a cover letter, quoting the job reference:  SI-MC21 to

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