Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sustaining Innovation - Cambridge, UK

Cambridge, UK
Highly competitive salary and benefits package
Oct 18, 2016
Nov 13, 2016
Result Type
Position Type
Full Time

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sustaining Innovation (Ref SI-SC001)​
Cambridge, UK​

Project Title: Synthetic Organic Chemistry: Developing a synthetic toolbox for versatile fragment elaboration using cutting edge methodology enabled by accelerated synthesis
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 platform to generate multiple new drug candidates that are progressing in clinical development and the company is a recognised world expert in fragment-based drug discovery.

Astex’s Sustaining Innovation Post-Doctoral research program aims to maintain and further enhance the Company’s excellent scientific culture by fostering basic research in areas of interest to the drug discovery field, whilst working with scientists in both the biotech sector and with academic experts in the areas of research interest.

During the last 10 years, FBDD has become an established technology for drug discovery across Pharma and Academia. In the last 1-2 years, the scientific challenges and opportunities that FBDD presents to organic synthesis have started to emerge, such as the design and synthesis of fragments with novel pharmacophores, 3D architecture, synthetic growth vectors via C-H bond activation, and the application of machine assisted synthesis for fragment elaboration. In order to address this need, Astex is calling for applications for the new Sustaining Innovation PostDoctoral position in Synthetic Organic Chemistry.

The project will identify fragment ligands which have limited synthetic methodology available to grow into more potent molecules, then to develop cutting-edge methodology that enables rapid elaboration of these fragments in a regio- and chemoselective manner. This position calls for a highly innovative individual having a comprehensive knowledge of the latest developments in synthetic organic methodology. The medicinal chemistry department is fully invested in this initiative with the potential for the successful candidate to acquire the necessary equipment to set up a high throughput experimentation lab within Astex. After the three-year appointment, the candidate can apply for the new Astex funded Senior Investigator Bursary to continue their research within an academic setting.

Skills and Experience Required

  • A PhD (or soon to be granted) in synthetic organic chemistry
  • Previous postdoctoral experience would be desirable but not required
  • An excellent understanding of synthetic organic chemistry
  • Experience with modern synthetic methodology, including but not limited to: C-H activation, photoredox, asymmetric reactions, organocatalysis, flow chemistry
  • A proven track record of solving complex problems as demonstrated by high-level peer-reviewed publications
  • Interest in automation technology that enables high-throughput experimentation
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)
  • The ability to contribute within highly multidisciplinary teams and work in a highly collaborative manner

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

To apply please send your CV and a cover letter by clicking on the 'Apply' button, quoting the job reference SI-SC001​

Closing Date: 13th November 2016

For information on Astex Pharmaceuticals please visit: and for information on Otsuka Pharmaceuticals please visit:

We are recruiting for a number of roles some are permanent and some are for 2-3 year fixed term contracts depending on qualifications and experience

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