Computational Chemist - Oncology Medicinal Chemistry

Essex, England
03 May 2021
02 Jun 2021
R & D , Chemistry
Full Time
Contract Type
Experience Level
Experienced (non-manager)

Oncology Medicinal Chemistry Department - Cambridge, UK

Do you have expertise in computational chemistry, and a passion for drug discovery? Would you like to apply your expertise to impact the lives of patients in a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then AstraZeneca might be the one for you!

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world's most serious diseases. But we're more than one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.

Here you'll have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference to patients' lives. With science at its heart, this is the place where breakthroughs born in the lab become transformative medicines - for the world's most complex diseases. Answer unmet medical needs by pioneering the next wave of science, focusing on outcomes and shaping the patient ecosystem. With our ground-breaking pipeline, the outlook is bright. Be proud to be part of a place that has achieved so much, yet is still moving forward. There's no better time to join our global, growing enterprise as we lead the way for healthcare and society.

Site Description

Welcome to Cambridge, one of over 400 sites here at AstraZeneca, providing a collaborative environment where everyone feels comfortable and able to be themselves is at the core of AstraZeneca's priorities, it's important to us that you bring your full self to work every day.

To help you maintain your best self, here's a sneak peek into some of the things this site provides for you.....

Where life meets Science…The site for this position is not confirmed at this moment in time; but will be close to Central Cambridge, which is located within walking distance from the Train station. You will have access to an onsite gym, restaurant facilities and also benefit from Lunch & Learn development activities, all within a bright and spacious agile working environment, while utilising the most advanced technology.

Business area

At AstraZeneca, we consider ourselves to be bold innovators, our pipeline is one of the broadest and deepest in the industry, whilst our cutting-edge work and ground-breaking approaches keep pushing us forward, harnessing digital technology, data and AI as we fast-forward progress and transform Healthcare.

We have achieved a lot in a short space of time by focusing on our pipeline and evaluating novelty and clinical development movement. In 2019 and 2020 we were ranked at the top of the invention scale with "best pipeline" by 'IDEA Pharma'. But the next chapter of our pipeline is more exciting than ever… We have an ambitious goal to deliver 6 new molecular entities by 2025. It is up to each of us to keep pushing forward and pioneer new approaches. From bold innovations and integrated healthcare systems to harnessing data and technology. We have multiple indications and many high-quality molecules at all stages of development - but we see even more potential.

What you'll do

As a computational chemist with a passion for drug discovery and significant experience of working in drug discovery project teams within a biotech or pharmaceutical setting, you will join an established group of computational chemists working on oncology drug discovery projects across a range of modalities and will have access to state-of-the-art computational methods and lead generation capabilities.

You will be a leading member of the medicinal chemistry design team, responsible for:

  • Setting and delivering on computational and medicinal chemistry strategies to impact project success at all stages from drug target identification through to clinical candidate nomination.
  • Working with a high degree of independence, you will carry out structure- and ligand-based design and data analysis, extracting insight from large proprietary structural biology and SAR data sets; your contributions to molecular design will be expected to result in inventorship on patent applications.
  • You will work closely with scientists from other disciplines including structural biology, biophysics, ADME/DMPK and safety sciences as part of the wider drug discovery project team, and will present your work regularly to peers and senior stakeholders. Depending on experience and interest, you might also function as the lead chemist for a drug discovery project.
  • At AstraZeneca we value scientific innovation. Maintaining an awareness of the current state-of-the art, you will identify promising new computational methodologies or technologies that could benefit drug discovery, and will develop and implement these through internal or external collaborations across AstraZeneca. You will be expected to publish your work regularly in high quality scientific journals and at national and international conferences.
  • You'll have the opportunity to supervise PhD students and postdocs through academic collaborations, as well as to mentor colleagues.

Essential for the role


  • Ph.D. degree in computational chemistry, or B.Sc./M.Sc with equivalent experience
  • Extensive experience working as a computational chemist on predominantly small molecule drug discovery projects in a Pharmaceutical or Biotech setting.
  • Broad experience in structure and ligand-based design, data analysis and property prediction
  • A passion for drug discovery and an excellent understanding of medicinal chemistry concepts
  • Innovative problem-solver, with a track record of impacting drug project delivery
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, team-working and time-management skills

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca we're dedicated to being a Great Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your entrepreneurial spirit. There's no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration, and always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development. We're on an exciting journey to pioneer the future of healthcare.

So, what's next?

  • Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Good, because we can't wait to hear from you.
  • Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it's yours.

Competitive salary package and benefits

The successful candidate will have access to a flexible employee benefits fund, including holiday purchase and flexible time off, pension contributions, Share Save Plans, A performance recognition scheme and a competitive, generous remuneration package.

Closing date: 9th April 2021

As part of the application process, for some roles at AstraZeneca, candidates may be asked to complete a series of online games, created by pymetrics, to assess certain candidate qualities to help evaluate potential match for the position. If the pymetrics process applies to this role, you will receive an email invitation with additional information following application. Once completed AZ will automatically receive your results - pymetrics will not be used solely in our decision-making process but will help us gather additional insight.

Where can I find out more?

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