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KOODAC Team Chemical Biologist

Havas People
Dundee City (GB)
Grade 7 (Spinal Point 29 -36) (£36,024- £44,263)
Closing date
3 May 2024

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Biomedicine, Chemistry, Clinical, Health Science
Job Type
Faculty Member, PhD Position, Professor
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

Position 2 Chemical Biology / Screening Assay Development PDRA (KOODAC team)

Unit: Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation Fixed-Term for 5 years

Grade 7 (Spinal Point 29 -36) (£36,024- £44,263)


We are recruiting for an exceptional Chemical Biologist / Biophysical Chemist with experience in compound screening and assay development to join the group of Professor Alessio Ciulli as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant within the expanding Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) at the University of Dundee. This position is part of an academic, multi-disciplinary drug discovery team being formed within the Ciulli group, funded by the Cancer Grand Challenges, within KOODAC ( KOODAC’s mission is to discover and develop small-molecule drugs that degrade key oncogenic drivers of solid tumours in children, as a novel therapeutic paradigm to treat pediatric cancers. The team will develop two types of degraders – proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) and molecular glue degraders. Both classes of degraders work by recruiting a ubiquitin E3 ligase to a target protein to induce target’s ubiquitination and degradation, leading to cell death. The team will focus on developing degraders for the ALK, DNAJB1::PRKACA, MYCN, EWSR1::FLI1 and PAX3::FOXO1 (or PAX7::FOXO1) oncoproteins, which have been implicated in the development and/or spread of neuroblastoma, fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, medulloblastoma, Ewings sarcoma and fusion positive rhabdomyosarcoma, respectively, in children.

The successful candidate will be expected to drive the screening and identification of hit molecules for rational design and development into novel small-molecule degraders. You will pioneer the design, implementation, and execution of high-throughput approaches to automated plate-based compounds synthesis and “direct-to-biology” screening across the project targets, and to contribute to screening assay design and optimization for hit identification across the programme. You will work closely with the Senior Lead Scientist and the other PDRAs within the team in the Ciulli Lab, as well as scientists at our collaborating partners of the KOODAC Team to develop a platform for the discovery, characterisation and development of degraders for the oncoproteins of interest.

Candidate Requirements:

  • A Ph.D. in chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, or a related discipline
  • Expertise in compound design, synthesis and screening/characterization.
  • Outstanding academic and/or industrial track record.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
  • Capable of working in a diverse team, but able to plan and work independently.
  • Exceptional time management, organisational and self-motivational skills.
  • An open and collaborative approach to science.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience in automated synthesis / high-throughput chemistry and/or high-throughput screening are strongly desired.
  • Experience with studying of PROTACs and/or molecular glue degraders.
  • Experience with mass-spectrometry proteomics and chemoproteomics approaches would be an advantage.  


The position is available immediately and for a fixed-term of 5 years. For further information about this role contact Professor Alessio Ciulli at To find out more about Group please visit the group’s Website.

The Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation is part of a growing Life Sciences Innovation District, an ecosystem of organisations and people within the life sciences sector in Dundee driving innovation and local economic growth. Opened since January 2023, CeTPD is a first of its kind Centre leading a number of internationally significant projects in the burgeoning new area of translational chemical biology and targeted protein degradation. The goal of CeTPD is to innovate a next-generation of small-molecule technology platforms and modalities to advance chemical and biological insights and therapeutic targets related to human diseases. It aspires to achieve this by redefining new models of open collaboration with academic, industrial and venture partners, and by training and inspiring the next-generation of research scientists and leaders.


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.


Company info
+44 784 960 7758
Havas Worldwide London, Unit 1
3 Pancras Square
Other / Non-US

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