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Drug Design & Selection (Pharmaceuticals R&D)

Who are we?

We are one of the world’s leading healthcare companies. GSK researches, develops, manufactures and distributes life-saving vaccines, prescription medicines and consumer health products such as Sensodyne, Savlon and Panadol.

The size and scope of our organisation allows our people to answer some of the biggest questions facing everyone on the planet – questions about future healthcare needs.

What is our role in Drug Discovery?

Drug Design and Selection (DDS) supports the therapeutic areas within GSK contributing to the discovery of new medicines through the collaborative identification of disease-linked targets and the selection of molecules for future drug development. We are responsible for delivering scientific expertise and specific platform capabilities to ensure that GSK is able to deliver the best potential medicines, for development. Within DDS, there are a number of lines which support this process, working in partnership with the therapeutic areas to design and deliver the high quality molecules which are necessary for successful clinical evaluation.

What will the programme be like?

You will be a full-time, permanent employee with the same competitive benefits as other new starters at GSK. Within the first 3 years at GSK, you will complete 3 rotations within DDS. These rotations will provide you with a breadth of knowledge and technical capability and by working in a matrix of talented scientists, with many opportunities for formal training and continuous professional development, you will grow in confidence. As a highly motivated and capable scientist, the Future Leaders Program aims to focus our resources on your training and personal development to teach you about GSK’s Values and Leadership Expectations and to offer you the best possible start to a long and rewarding career in Drug Discovery.

What roles are available?

Biology Miniaturisation Scientist

This role is UK-based (Stevenage) and sits within Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology - a line within DDS which is responsible for the provision of assays for multiple stages of the drug discovery process, from early stage target definition and compound identification through to late stage candidate compound selection and pre-clinical mechanism of action studies. Scientists within the department work in close collaboration with staff from multiple therapeutic areas to define our drug discovery and molecule screening strategies, and in doing so help establish and maintain awareness of the target and therapeutic rationale across the programs we support.

In this role you can expect to:

  • Contribute to the design, development and implementation of transformational technologies such as microfluidics, nanocapillaries/nanowells with a goal of discovering novel therapeutics.
  • Contribute to the development of miniaturised biological systems for use with single cells, organoids and microtissues.
  • Seek and interact with external and internal experts/stakeholders to evaluate and implement new assay technologies.
  • Work with advanced cellular systems including primary cells, iPSCs and apply targeted genome editing technologies.
  • Apply advanced detection technologies such as optical imaging, flow cytometry, mass spec, NGS etc.
  • Contribute and take a role in defining strategy and success in this area.
  • Deliver high quality data to enable early decision making on target/compound progression

Drug Discovery Scientists

These roles are UK-based (Stevenage) and will involve rotations in 3 groups providing thorough training in protein expression and purification, high-throughput antibody production and the biophysical and structural characterisation of therapeutic antibodies and other protein reagents. The successful scientists will learn about these key stages in the drug discovery process and develop the breadth of skills required to contribute fully to one of our busy program teams. DDS Scientists work closely with disease experts in our Therapeutic Area Units to link a vision of the medicines we seek to develop and our core value of “Focus on the Patient” to the science we do by building an understanding of the biological pathways involved in disease and recognising the opportunities to intervene within those pathways.

In this role you can expect to engage in activities such as :

  • Delivery of high quality reagents to support the drug discovery process for a given program.
  • The design, development and implementation of analytical, biochemical, biophysical and cellular assays for different classes of therapeutic target.
  • Generation of high quality data to inform program decision-making using the state of the art equipment and world-class laboratories.
  • Interaction with therapeutic areas to drive program progression, translating in vitro and analytical data into successful candidates for progression.
  • Contribution to defining strategy and best practise in multiple scientific areas.
  • Continuous improvement of our scientific processes to improve efficiency and enhance capabilities.
  • Work across matrix organisations and with commercial partners to evaluate and implement new technologies.

What’s expected of me?

You will have a strong academic track record and be able to demonstrate an aptitude for learning new skills and assimilating information. You will be naturally curious, enjoy the challenge of solving complex scientific problems and have the tenacity and resilience to work at the cutting edge in a knowledge-based industry. We’ll expect you to get involved in delivering technical projects and prioritising a variety of tasks effectively in support of the drug design and selection process. An ability to build working relationships with people across the GSK organisation will be essential. We will help successful candidates to enhance their natural talents and develop highly effective communication and listening skills, new technical capabilities and knowledge.

What do I need to succeed?

You'll need the ability to interpret information and a passion for developing medicines.We’re looking for proactive graduates who can adapt to change and keep focused when the pressure is on. While you have the drive and confidence to trust your own judgement, you’re a real team player who actively collaborates with others and knows when to ask for help. In addition, you’ll need an analytical mind, a talent for multi-tasking and the ability to influence others.

For our Biology Miniaturisation Scientist role you will need to you have, or expect to obtain in 2017, an MSc (2:1 or better) or PhD in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Bioengineering, or a related subject.

For our drug discovery roles you can apply if you have, or expect to obtain in 2017, a BSc/BA or MSc (2:1 or better) in Biological Science, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry or a related subject.

What next?

Please click 'Apply Online' to find out more about our programmes, including a full list of requirements and how to apply.

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