At Leicester we’re going places. Ranked in the top 20 universities in Britain our aim is to climb further. A commitment to high quality fused with an inclusive academic culture is our hallmark and led the Times Higher Education to describe us as “elite without being elitist”.
In this position you will work on a collaborative project to support drug discovery programmes at the Cancer Research UK Belfast Centre, led by Tim Harrison, McClay Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).
Structural biology facilitates and accelerates cancer drug discovery by enabling rational approaches to drug design, including the evaluation of target ‘druggability’ and identification of new strategies for target modulation. Structures of protein-ligand complexes guide chemistry during hit-to-lead and lead optimization of inhibitor series, enabling iterative cycles of inhibitor design, synthesis, testing and validation.
The project will be focussed on cancer drug targets that have been identified by scientists at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University Belfast. Some of these targets are individual proteins or protein complexes of unknown structure that have been extensively validated through cell biological and molecular approaches. Following structure determination, the postdoctoral researcher will work closely with the drug discovery scientists in Queen’s to develop strategies for target inhibition. For targets which have hit compounds already identified, the objective will be to determine protein-ligand complex structures, working closely with computational and medicinal chemists in Prof Harrison’s group, in order to develop high quality chemical probes. Further targets will be considered for structural biology support as the project develops
The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University is a Cancer Research UK Centre and provides an environment in which clinical scientists can work alongside and interact with basic research colleagues in a variety of laboratory programmes. In order to facilitate translational science, CCRCB has formed academic-industrial collaborations with the Discovery and Diagnostic divisions of the pharmaceutical company Almac. This research initiative aims to accelerate the development of new cancer therapies using the combined, complementary expertise of the two partners. To facilitate the collaboration, strategic partnerships are being established in order to access the expertise necessary to drive early stage drug discovery. Structural biology will be a key resource underpinning the success of the overall programme, hence this represents a significant opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary environment with access to the complementary skills of two CRUK Centres,
Prof. Bayliss’s research group is located in the state-of-the-art Henry Wellcome Building with access to excellent facilities for biophysical studies and structural biology. There is a supportive environment for structural biology relating to drug discovery, with ongoing collaborations between Leicester groups and drug discovery groups in academic and industrial settings.
You will hold a relevant degree and a PhD in structural biology, or related discipline, and have expertise in protein expression and purification, X-ray crystallography and other relevant structural biology and biophysical techniques. You will be an ambitious postdoctoral scientist who wishes to pursue the challenge of structural biology on novel proteins as part of an exciting new drug discovery collaboration and make an important contribution to the development of new treatments for cancer.
Informal enquiries are welcome and should be made to Prof Richard Bayliss on Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org