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Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Antiviral XChem



Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Antiviral XChem
Harwell Science and innovation Campus, Oxfordshire
Salary £33,963 - £39,955
Fixed Term Contract until May 2025
Full Time or Part Time considered
Ref: 10916

About Us
Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth, and environmental sciences.

About the Role
In May 2022, the NIH’s NIAID announced 9 large Centers funded through its $1bn, 5-year Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) program, to develop novel antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses of pandemic potential. Both proposals that included Diamond and its XChem facility, were successful: for the AI-driven, Structure-enabled Antiviral Platform (ASAP) Center, Diamond leads both the Target Enablement Project and the Structure Biology Core; and for the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI) Center, Diamond is part of the Discovery Core. .
Crystallographic fragment screening and structure-enabled drug design were already key drivers in the development to date of such much-needed antivirals, with over 2,000 X-ray crystal structures deposited in the PDB. In particular, Diamond’s ground-breaking XChem platform for fragment screening platform triggered the COVID Moonshot, a fully open-science drug discovery effort that, by targeting the SARS-CoV-2 Main protease with an aggressively structure-enabled approach, achieved a pre-clinical candidate and in less 2 years
We are seeking to recruit enthusiastic scientists to drive high-throughput fragment screening experiments and structural support for hit-to-lead development for the ASAP and READDi Centers. The scientists will also join or lead the development and establishment of new methodologies that dramatically improve the productivity of these approaches. Appointed persons will be embedded in the XChem/I04 1 team as well as in a large international collaboration.

As a PDRA for Antiviral XChem: you will be responsible for:
• Integrating and fully adopting the culture of both the Diamond-based research team, and the overall international consortium
• Delivering successful crystallographic (XChem) fragment screens and rapid turn-around of protein-ligand crystal structures to enable hit-to-lead development.
• Ensuring all crystal structures are promptly available, at high quality and fully annotated, both to consortium collaborators as in the public domain.
• Developing and testing new and existing methodologies to increase the through put of the XChem platform.
• Managing the day-to-day running of a research project.
• Leading in the analysis and authoring of scientific results in international peer-reviewed journals.

The position is available for the duration of the grant; in the first instance until May 2025.
We welcome candidates with desire for part-time arrangements.


About You
You will have an appropriate PhD and proven relevant scientific experience, with experience in crystallographic fragment screening and compound development highly desirable.

To be successful you will also demonstrate:
• Strong analytical skills and excellent record keeping
• An interest in protein crystallography and drug discovery, particularly fragment-based drug discovery or structure-based drug design.
• An interest in methods development.
• An enthusiasm for working in scientific teams and collaborations
• Excellent communication skills and aptitude to interact with staff at all levels
• Good organisation skills
• The ability to work flexibly

Benefits
Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 25 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable.

To Apply
Please use the online application process to apply and tell us why you believe you are suitable for this role.

The initial closing date for applications is 30th October.


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