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KOODAC Team Medicinal Chemist

Havas People
Dundee City
Grade 7 (Spinal Point 29 -36) (£36,024- £44,263)
Closing date
10 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 4 – Medicinal Chemistry / Organic Chemistry 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 Medicinal Chemist / Synthetic Organic Chemist with experience 
in small molecule drug design and discovery 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 

The successful candidate will be expected to design, synthesize and characterise novel 
small-molecule degraders. You will boost the automated-syntheses and structure-guided medicinal 
chemistry approaches the team are taking to develop degrader drug candidates. 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 project to develop a platform for the 
discovery, characterisation and development of degraders for the oncoproteins of interest. 
Compounds that show promise will enter an optimisation pipeline designed to produce orally 
bioavailable degraders that can be evaluated in the clinic and will dramatically improve cure rates 
for children affected by these cancers.

Candidate Requirements:
•  A Ph.D. in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, drug discovery or a related 
•  High-level of expertise in synthetic organic chemistry and synthetic route design.
•  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 with structure-based drug design and studying protein-ligand interactions.
•  Experience with the development of PROTACs and/or molecular glue degraders.
•  Understanding of pharmacology, metabolism and pharmacokinetics and other medicinal chemistry 
principles necessary for lead optimisation processes.


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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