SN/0422 - Senior Neuroscientist with ion channel expertise

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Posted: 29/04/2022 16:38
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: Competitive
Location: Cambridge UK
Level: Technical
Deadline: 30/06/2022 23:59
Hours: 37.50
Benefits: Comprehensive Benefits Package
Job Type: Permanent

Astex Pharmaceuticals is a world leader in innovative drug discovery and development. The company has successfully applied its proprietary fragment-based drug discovery (FBDD) platform to generate multiple new drug candidates that are progressing in clinical development. Successful collaborations have led to two launched oncology drugs (Kisqali® partnered with Novartis and BalversaTM partnered with Janssen). Astex continues to grow and focuses on Oncology and Neurological Disorders. Historically Astex’s fragment screening platform has relied upon X-ray crystallography to support structure-based drug discovery (SBDD), however the increased ability of cryo-EM to deliver atomic resolution structures has led to Astex establishing a state of the art, in-house, cryo-EM facility.

The Opportunity

Astex now has an exciting opportunity for a Senior Neuroscientist with drug discovery experience and ‘know-how’ in ion channels to help identify and prosecute the most therapeutically attractive neurodegeneration targets with our X-ray and cryo-EM platforms. The position is available in the Biology Department of Astex, based in Cambridge, UK.  The role will offer the individual the opportunity to apply their in-depth expertise and knowledge of CNS neurodegeneration and ion channel biology to impact on Astex’s portfolio. The successful candidate will be highly motivated with the capacity to think creatively and a demonstrable ability to interact with and influence the strategy of multi-disciplinary project teams at the scientific level and thus contribute to the successful development of novel therapies.


  • Contribute to and influence the neurodegeneration drug discovery projects across Astex’s portfolio with potential to take on a lead biologist or project leader role.
  • Support Astex ion channel biology activities to select and prosecute the most biologically exciting ion channel targets for neurodegeneration.
  • Provide scientific expertise and leadership of biology activities in the ion channel area, including coaching junior scientists in the lab, developing appropriate assays and interpreting biological data.
  • Expand Astex’s internal know-how and external network in the ion channel area through active participation in multidisciplinary project team meetings, and leading interactions with external experts, collaborators and CROs.


  • PhD or BSc with equivalent experience in a biological science, plus several years’ experience in a drug discovery environment, preferably gained in industry.
  • Disease expertise in neurodegeneration is essential, as well as experience in models of CNS neurodegeneration (in vitro and ideally in vivo).
  • Experience in ion channel biology, know-how of electrophysiology and cell imaging techniques.
  • Supervisory and/or project team leadership experience.
  • Strong communication skills and ability to contribute to multidisciplinary project teams.

Why Astex

We offer excellent training and career development opportunities as well as highly competitive salary and benefits package.  The company is situated 2.5 miles from Cambridge City centre. Cambridge Science Park has onsite sports facilities and excellent transport links to London.

At Astex we embrace diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse Company representing all backgrounds, harnessing industry-leading scientific innovation and behaviours.

More information

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