Career in Astrazeneca as Biomolecular NMR Specialist

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AstraZeneca contributes meaningfully to the UK beyond the provision of our medicines and the benefits they provide to the health of the nation.
We commissioned a report in 2009 to measure our significant investment to the UK economy, which includes investment in jobs and wealth creation. Oxera, an independent economic consultancy provided the analysis for this report.
The report looks at our contribution to the UK as a whole as well as at individual countries within the UK, and at regions where AstraZeneca has a significant presence, identifying the company’s local impact in terms of spending, jobs and economic prosperity.

Post: Biomolecular NMR Specialist

This is an opportunity for an innovative, high calibre scientist, with strong expertise in all areas of biomolecular NMR to join an established team playing an influential role in drug discovery projects within a major pharmaceutical company. Your primary role will be in collaborating with protein scientists, crystallographers, biophysicists, computational  and medicinal chemists in structure-based lead generation projects. By contributing to and implementing novel, advanced NMR methodologies, the role holder will demonstrate the power of NMR in driving fragment-based approaches and structural biophysics in lead generation projects and in expanding druggable target space. We believe that such approaches deployed as part of a suite of structural and biophysical tools will be increasingly important in the quest to find new medicines, and with this role we aim to strengthen our capabilities and enhance design-led drug discovery. This is a role for someone who wants to make a real difference in life through creating new medicines that meet the needs of patients, by gearing their passion, expertise and ingenuity in collaboration with fellow scientists.

Impact on business results: The individual will contribute to the exploitation and further enhancement of biomolecular NMR both within Lead Generation Sciences UK, and through collaboration with therapeutic research department (iMED) partners. In addition to outstanding biomolecular NMR skills, bringing expert knowledge and experience in exploiting and developing NMR methods on protein:ligand complexes to support drug discovery, including 1D and 2D NMR-based screening methodology, is highly desirable. By working collaboratively with medicinal and computational chemists alongside crystallographers and other colleagues in LG Sciences, you will contribute to fragment-based approaches to drive improved lead generation success against important targets.There may also be opportunities to technically / scientifically supervise other scientists so that they can optimally meet their science/project objectives. Practical experience of complementary target:ligand biophysical technique(s) such as SPR, ITC, thermal shift assays etc, would also be beneficial but not essential.


Teamwork, Experimental Execution, Problem Solving, Communication

  • To provide expert scientific contributions to the practical delivery of lead generation projects by using and ensuring maximal exploitation of high-quality NMR-derived data

  • To identify leading improvements and innovations in NMR technologies and methodology that can be successfully applied to advance LG Sciences NMR capability

  • To patent successfully and/or publish papers and reviews in internationally recognised journals

  • To participate in and contribute to local discipline review groups.

  • To influence strategic direction of LG Sciences project plans

  • To contribute to training of other scientists in NMR

  • May technically/ scientifically supervise (not line manage) other scientists so that they can optimally meet their science/project objectives.

  • May act as coordinator for LG Sciences projects

Technical Lead/Supervisor– A technical specialist in biomolecular NMR, predominantly hands-on / lab-based, actively seeks out and puts novel ideas into practice, ensures scientific rigour, good at troubleshooting methods, provides support and coaching to scientists employing key methodologies, helps/guides set-up of new methodologies

Minimum Requirements –Education and Experience

You will have a first degree background in a relevant scientific discipline (chemistry, biochemistry, physics), a Ph.D. in biomolecular NMR, and significant postdoctoral experience in biomolecular NMR. Demonstrated track record in setting up precedented NMR experiments in-house is essential, and the ability to develop new experiments/pulse programs and analysis scripts is highly desirable.

Significant experience in a drug discovery environment, demonstrating the requisite expertise in NMR techniques applied to the study of protein:ligand complexes and fragment-based drug discovery, would further distinguish the ideal candidate.

Experience in using other structural and biophysical techniques (including X-ray crystallography, SPR, ITC and/or thermal shift assays) would be valuable but not essential.

Skills and Capabilities

The role requires strong communication skills and the ability to influence effectively in a multi-disciplinary team environment. Strong personal drive and result focus is essential. The role also requires a passion to understand the needs of the project and disease area, and to collaborate across disciplines and organisations to develop solutions and achieve outstanding results.

This role will demonstrate all the leadership capabilities at level 2 (for internal posting)

New Leadership Capabilities to be used:

Passion for Customers:Understands one’s collaborators and uses that insight to provide value

Thinks Strategically: Quickly identifies and acts on opportunities, combining forethought with action.  This is based on an understanding of the external environment and its impact on AZ.

Acts Decisively:  Makes and acts on decisions quickly and effectively and fosters the same in others.  This is based on an underlying courage to enable risk taking for the business.

Drives Performance: Holds self and others accountable for the achievement of performance expectations.  Creates an environment that enables others to perform at their best.

Works Collaboratively:  Actively creates and promotes cross boundary collaboration with the aim of achieving better business results.  Boundaries can exist between individuals, geographies, cultures, teams, functions or organisations.

Develops People and Organisation:  Demonstrates a genuine commitment to the time and effort needed to develop oneself and others.

Internal and External Contacts/Customers

iMED and LG Sciences project teams, Project Leaders, Team Leader, Section Head, Local Science Lead, may be a key member of a collaboration / strategic initiative or supervise an external scientist for AZ.

Reporting Relationship
·  Reports to Team Leader
· No direct reports, but could lead individual scientists or groups of scientists in specific projects

Budget responsibility
Standard Band C / D(Senior Scientist/APS) consumables signing limits will apply.

Measure of Success
Impact is on LG Sciences’ ability to deliver success in FBLG and increasing druggable space in collaboration with iMED partners. Success will be measured by MS2 transitions from fragment start-points against high value targets. Longer term success will be reflected in reduced portfolio attrition rates at MS4.

Additional Information:
Ref: DECS1002
Region: North West England
Job Category: Research and Development
Specialism: Innovative Medicines Unit
Department: DECS
Band/Grade: C/D

Closing date for applications: 29 January 2011

Apply Online


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