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Principal Scientist, Enzymology, Mechanistic Biology & Profiling

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-043424 Date posted 03/04/2020

At AstraZeneca we believe in the potential of our people and you’ll develop beyond what you thought possible. We make the most of your skills and passion by actively supporting you to see what you can achieve no matter where you start with us. Our scientific research and development is afforded the utmost respect so we give our people the same. We do everything we can to make sure each AstraZeneca person has everything they need to stretch themselves and see what they can achieve.

Discovery Sciences is a multi-faceted department which drives early drug discovery across AstraZeneca’s global Innovative Medicines and Early Development (IMED) portfolio. Mechanistic Biology & Profiling (part of Discovery Sciences), is a global, multidisciplinary department responsible for mechanism-of-action studies and compound profiling for efficacy and pre-clinical safety in support of the Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism (CVRM), Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmunity (RIA), and Neuroscience portfolios.

As the Principal Scientist, Enzymology, within the Mechanistic Biology & Profiling Group in Cambridge, UK, you will pursue world-class medicines in new ways, combining our peoples' extraordinary skills with those of people from all over the globe.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Reporting directly to the Global Head of the Mechanistic Biology & Profiling Department you will set the vision and drive our strategy for the integration of mechanistic enzymology into projects to characterise our drug targets and their interactions with ligands, from generation of early understanding of the underlying biology through to aiding clinical dose prediction.

You will lead our mission to provide early, impactful mechanistic enzymology insight to projects across the IMEDs, influencing globally through matrix teams to combine a variety of approaches including in vitro enzymology, pharmacology, and quantitative cell biology. You will be a recognized scientific leader, able to represent the discipline across a broad range of therapeutic projects and global initiatives within Discovery Sciences and IMEDs, and also externally. You will drive scientific and technical innovation, including through external collaboration and partnership. You will also be a key member of the Global Mechanistic Biology & Profiling Leadership Team, participating in setting and maintaining the strategic direction and scientific quality of the department.

Essential Requirements:

  • PhD in mechanistic enzymology + significant postdoctoral experience (or equivalent in a drug discovery environment)
  • Formal training and proven expertise in mechanistic enzymology and its role in drug discovery
  • Consistent record of career progression, and significant external reputation in pre-steady-state and steady-state kinetics, gained through professional recognition, external presentation and publication in high-impact journals
  • Extensive experience in pre-clinical drug discovery, with deep knowledge of the use of mechanistic enzymology to aid translation from model systems through to clinical dose prediction
  • Proven track record of training and developing a world-class group of experts, and optimising team performance in a highly matrixed discovery project environment
  • Extensive experience of establishing and leading external collaborations and technology change projects to advance organisational science capability
  • Track record of delivering results across a diverse project portfolio by driving scientific, strategic, and people performance.

Desirable Requirements:

  • Strong leader - able to articulate a vision for disease- agnostic Discovery missions, set direction and inspire commitment for preclinical Discovery.
  • Ability to influence internal expertise, capacity and resources to drive governance and decision-making regarding scientific portfolio support and technology development.
  • Is future orientated and strategic in thinking style.
  • Capability to express complex technological ideas in a clear and compelling way to engage and influence multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Generates exceptional results by influencing, driving performance and collaborating across project boundaries.
  • Strong financial acumen with ability to assess and drive significant technological investments.
  • Robust decision making informed by business and financial acumen and an understanding of competitor strategy.
  • Global mind-set, with expertise in developing cross-functional operating models.

Preferable Location: Cambridge (UK), with global accountability.

Salary: Competitive with excellent benefits.

If you’re passionate about the possibilities of science to make a difference and ready to discover what you can do – join us, we look forward to receiving your application!

To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please complete the full application on our website at your earliest convenience – it is the only way that our Recruiter and Hiring Manager can know that you feel well qualified for this opportunity. If you know someone who would be a great fit, please share this posting with them.



AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.