Associate Director of High Throughput Screening - Biochemistry and Biophysics

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Be brave, not perfect.
- Reshma Saujani

Associate Director of High Throughput Screening - Biochemistry and Biophysics

Location: Cambridge, UK

Salary: Competitive with excellent benefits

Are you a passionate scientist and an inclusive leader with experience of biochemistry and enzymology methodologies? Would you like to lead your team through scientific breakthroughs and work that has never been done before? Join us, to push the boundaries of science!

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for some of the world’s most serious diseases. Here, we come to work every single day to make a difference – to patients, society and our company.

Our High Throughput Screening (HTS) department is a truly pivotal cog in the drug discovery process. Using robotics, data processing and control software, liquid handling devices and sensitive detectors - HTS allows us to quickly conduct millions of chemical, genetic or pharmacological tests. The results of these experiments provide starting points for drug design and for understanding the interaction or role of a particular biochemical process in biology.

We are preparing for the next exciting chapter and the move to our collaborative and inspiring Discovery Centre (DISC), located at the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The move will take place during 2023, and until then you will be regularly travelling to our site in Alderley Park.

What you’ll do

As an Associate Director in our HTS department, you’ll lead a team of exceptional scientists generating data to support drug discovery projects across AstraZeneca, as well as to contributing to technical innovations to maximise productivity and efficiency and to increase the success and quality of the early-stage portfolio.

The role will also be accountable for maintaining expertise in screening technology and managing partnerships with external research organisations. Working across functions to identify technology gaps and future requirements, designing and implementing process improvements and capability builds.

Additional accountabilities:

  • Work at the interface between reagent generation, assay development, biophysics and medicinal and computational chemistry to assess new targets and implement creative hit finding strategies that deliver chemical equity across a portfolio of challenging targets.
  • Work in partnership with AZ assay development, reagent generation and compound management teams to embed new techniques and best working practices within the wider R&D organisation
  • Participate as a member of the HTS Leadership Team in setting and maintaining the strategic direction, scientific quality, operational efficiency, and future strategies of High-Throughput Screening.

Essential criteria

  • We believe that you will have significant experience of a wide range of biochemical or biophysical screening technologies, automation and assay optimisation and validation processes. This is complemented by demonstrable experience of scientific impact, leadership and strong collaboration, communication and people skills enabling you to effectively lead a team working with scientists from across the organisation.

You also have:

  • Established expertise in biochemistry and enzymology methodologies
  • Experience in the planning and execution of biological assays to investigate novel targets in a range of assay formats
  • Experience of supervising, training and mentoring more junior scientists with a desire to develop line management skills
  • Demonstrable experience in the identification, establishment and implementation of new technologies and methods
  • Excellent organisational skills, with proven track record to deliver high quality work under pressure and against tight timelines
  • Excellent team working and networking skills, capable interacting optimally across interfaces of discipline, culture, and expertise

Desirable for the role

  • Experience of High Throughput Screening and other hit finding methodologies
  • A validated scientific track record of innovation and delivery within the field of small molecule drug discovery
  • Strong understanding of the analysis and interpretation of screening data to understand mechanism of target engagement
  • People management experience, including leading and developing impactful teams as well as coaching individuals to fulfil their potential
  • Highly capable of leading a team in the identification, establishment and implementation of new technologies, methods, practices, and ways of working

Why AstraZeneca

We are champions of Inclusion & Diversity

We strongly believe that everyone contributes with a unique set of competences. Your curiosity and passion for personal development combined with support from colleagues, mentors and leaders, will ensure you maximise your skills, abilities and contribution.

Read all about our extensive and inspiring Inclusion & Diversity strategy here:

We offer a competitive salary & excellent benefits - including annual bonuses and share save schemes. Our flexible benefits programme allows you to select your own benefits package based on your personal preferences and circumstances.

So, what’s next!

This role is open from Tuesday, 20th September 2022, and we welcome your application, no later than Friday, 14th October 2022.

Where can I find out more?

Our R&D Story:

Sustainability at AstraZeneca:

Inclusion & Diversity at AstraZeneca:

Date Posted


Closing Date


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 authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

You’ve got this!