Research Associate - Artificial Intelligence and Computational Chemistry

University Of Cambridge is delighted to offer a postdoc position. Citizens of any country are eligible to apply. The deadline for applying is September 21, 2018.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Astex Pharmaceuticals is a world leader in innovative drug discovery and development. The company has successfully applied its proprietary Fragment-Based Drug discovery platform to generate multiple new drug candidates that are progressing in clinical development and the company is a recognised world expert in structural biology and crystallography. The sustaining innovation Postdoctoral research program aims to enhance the Company’s excellent scientific culture by fostering basic research in the drug discovery field, whilst working with scientists in the biotech sector and with academic experts in the areas of research interest.

University of Cambridge and Astex Pharmaceuticals have partnered to create an exciting new postdoctoral position in AI-based Computational Chemistry. The successful candidate will join Dr. Lucy Colwell’s group at the Chemistry Department, leaders in the innovative application of modelling and AI-based approaches to unsolved problems in chemistry, biochemistry and structural biology.

Project title: Development and application of Artificial Intelligence technologies to data from fragment screening campaigns to generate deeper understanding and more accurate predictive models.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques are now widespread in society, where they have become hugely successful in fields ranging from voice recognition to clinical diagnostics. A recurring question in FragmentBased Drug Discovery is why certain fragments bind to a target, while other fragments do not? AI methods, trained on data from fragment screening campaigns, may well be able to identify rules about what dictates fragment binding that would otherwise not be detected. This project will apply AI methodologies to data from Astex’s fragment screening campaigns to help understand and predict what drives fragment binding. The successful candidate will be based in the chemistry department, and will also spend time embedded at the Astex headquarters in Cambridge.

Candidate Requirements A PhD (or be about to obtain) in chemistry or in a relevant theoretical science Thorough understanding of chemistry and non-bonded interactions Significant, relevant and demonstrable programming experience Excellent communication skills Good data management skills

Desirable skills Hands-on experience with large data sets and machine learning technologies Experience of relational databases

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply’ button below. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and publications list in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

For queries relating to your application or the application process, please contact Lucy Colwell via email on

Please quote reference MA16697 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN silver award for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


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