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Macclesfield, England, United Kingdom
Job reference: R-023559
Posted date: Mar. 20, 2018

We’re currently looking for talented scientists to join our innovative academic-style Postdoc. From our centre in Macclesfield, UK, you’ll be in a global pharmaceutical environment, contributing to live projects right from the start. You’ll take part in a comprehensive training programme, including a focus on drug discovery and development, given access to our existing Postdoctoral research, and encouraged to pursue your own independent research in cutting edge laboratories. It’s a newly expanding programme spanning a range of therapeutic areas across a wide range of disciplines.

What’s more, you’ll have the support of a leading academic advisor, who’ll provide you with the guidance and knowledge you need to develop your career. This is an exciting area that hasn’t been explored to its full potential, making this an opportunity to make a real difference to the future of medical science.

About AstraZeneca             

AstraZeneca (AZ) is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business 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. At AZ, we're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives - and are made to feel valued, energised and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

Pharmaceutical Sciences focusses on the intelligent design of medicines and delivery systems. The department has three priority areas – early chemical development, early product development and advanced drug delivery – supporting synthesis, formulation and delivery of the IMED’s portfolio across the main therapy areas, from early discovery to Phase llB clinical trials.

Route design is a key activity within AstraZeneca drug development and this is an exciting opportunity to develop predictive models that can be applied in the design of efficient and novel synthetic routes for drug development. During the project the candidate will gain a wide understanding of the AstraZeneca drug development process

Accountabilities and Responsibilities:

Predictive modelling is a developing area in route design requiring the calculation and comparison of transition states to predict chemo/regio-selectivity and reactivity for reactions.  Currently predictive reaction modelling is time consuming, utilizing numerous computationally expensive approaches, with varied prediction accuracy across different reaction classes. We are looking for a chemist with a computational background that has a good understanding and strong experience in reactivity modelling.

  • The candidate will be responsible for the development and application of predictive reactivity models for key reaction classes.
  • The candidate will employ quantum theoretical reaction path modelling, quantitative structure-reactivity relationships (QSRR) using physically meaningful mechanistic molecular descriptors and hybrid models that combine both approaches with experimental data.
  • The candidate will critically assess and select optimal predictive models for application in route design activities.
  • Working with project chemists the candidate will explore the applicability of the novel predictive models though testing and validation on novel systems as part of drug development projects.

The candidate will have the opportunity to present both internally and externally on project achievements and publish the results in high impact journals.

Education and Experience Required:


  • PhD in a relevant area e.g. computational chemistry, chemistry or related discipline.
  • Ability to understand reaction mechanisms from a chemical structure and property perspective.
  • Experience of using modelling software such as, Schrodinger suite, Gaussian, COSMOtherm and cheminformatic toolkits.
  • Good knowledge of data analysis, programming and scripting. (python, shell script)
  • Familiarity with Unix/Linux and HPC environments.
  • Excellent communication and team working skills.
  • A high motivated candidate with evidence of strategic and analytical thinking and a results-focused outlook.


  • Strong working knowledge of principles used to develop synthetic organic methodology.
  • Scientific track record, as evidenced by published or accepted papers in peer-reviewed journals, and/or oral presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Understanding of pharmaceutical R&D and the wider business.

Skills and Capabilities required:

  • Innovative and creative thinking.
  • Strong scientific judgement and scientific leadership.

This is a 3 year programme.  2 years will be a Fixed Term Contract, with a 1 year extension which will be merit based.  The role will be based at Macclesfield, UK, with a competitive salary on offer 

To apply for this position, please click the apply link below.

Advert opening date – 5th March 2018

Advert closing date – 13th May 2018

AstraZeneca welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you share our passion for scientific excellence, find out more at;

Post Doc Fellow - Predictive chemistry tools for route design

AstraZeneca in the UK

Our 6,700-strong UK workforce is based across seven sites in the UK, including our new research facilities and global corporate headquarters in Cambridge. The Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC) is globally renowned as a leading centre of research, education and patient care. For AstraZeneca, the campus is the perfect environment in which to foster a vibrant culture of open innovation and collaboration.

Learn more

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