Associate Principal Scientist, DNA-Encoded Library Screening

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Associate Principal Scientist, DNA-Encoded Library Screening

Granta Park, Cambridge, UK

Competitive salary & benefits

Diverse Minds. Go further with bold new opportunities. Collaborate with diverse minds

Collaborate in an inclusive environment, a place full of new opportunities. And in return… we’re looking for people who are open and respectful, ambitious and driven!

DNA-Encoded Library (DEL) screening is a key methodology for hit-finding in early drug discovery projects. We have an exciting opportunity for a dedicated individual to join Discovery Sciences as a scientific leader, focused on using DEL technology to generate hits for projects across all the AstraZeneca therapy areas.

The Protein Science & DEL team, within the Discovery Biology Department of Discovery Sciences, is responsible for the generation of validated protein reagents and the design/prosecution of DEL screening strategies, to support projects in all phases of the drug discovery pipeline.

What you’ll do

As a lab-based scientist specialising in DEL screening, you will perform a pivotal role in delivering drug discovery and technology-based project goals to timelines and budget. As an authority in this field, you will also guide scientists in the design of screening strategies, liaise with library chemists to drive synthesis of libraries to enable novel screening opportunities and to design a long-term scientific strategy for DEL screening within Discovery Sciences, in collaboration with colleagues across the department.

  • To drive strategy for DEL screening, guiding future direction and investment in the area
  • To design and implement experimental procedures for projects and to innovate to push the boundaries of DEL screening opportunities
  • To use current developments in the DEL community and literature to seek opportunities for collaboration and for the development of DEL technology
  • To have a proactive and enthusiastic approach to learning and development of both themselves, and those around them
  • To be an effective team member in supporting Discovery Projects to meet their objectives
  • To identify and solve problems associated with DEL screening experimental set up, automation, analysis and discuss with other team members
  • To possess a range of practical skills and demonstrate flexibility within and across teams
  • To effectively communicate results to other members of the project, team, etc, to leadership and to the wider DEL community

Essential Requirements:

  • A PhD or M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) in relevant subjects, or equivalent level of understanding developed through experience in drug discovery or early development
  • Significant experience of working in a DEL or Compound screening related role leading to a demonstrable scientific specialism in this area

Experience of the following, is highly desirable:

  • Extensive experience in the biochemical, physicochemical and functional characterisation of proteins of different classes e.g. soluble, membrane, multisubunit complexes
  • DEL screening methodologies and/or DEL chemistry and principles
  • Biochemical assay/screening automation
  • Analysing and processing complex datasets
  • Purification and analysis of proteins for target validation, screening and/or structure
  • Demonstrable understanding of pre-clinical drug discovery and how DEL/alternative screening techniques contribute to and influence project progression

AZ Cambridge

An exciting bioscience hotspot, Cambridge is home to one of AstraZeneca’s three strategic, global R&D Centres, alongside Gothenburg and Gaithersburg. Over 3,600 employees work from our various sites across Cambridge and our offices are internationally renowned for attracting high performers, including several Nobel prize winners.

Currently based at Granta Park, the Protein Science & DEL team are excited for their pending relocation to our brand new, pioneering R&D facility - The Discovery Centre (DISC). Located at the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, is designed to play a central role in our mission to deliver life-changing medicines to patients. As our largest research and development centre in the UK, it will have more than 2,000 people working across therapy areas and drug discovery and development once fully occupied.

Find out more about our Cambridge campus and the DISC, here:

*** We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis and reserve the right to close the advert at short notice, should we identify a suitable candidate ahead of the scheduled closing date. ***

Why AstraZeneca?

Our values guide everything we do at AstraZeneca. They power our belief in What Science Can Do – a belief in its potential to redefine what’s possible!

We are always listening and learning from people who live with the diseases our medicines treat. It enables us to better understand their needs and, ultimately, diagnose and design the right treatments to impact patients’ lives.

So, what’s next?

This position is open from Tuesday, 16th May 2023, and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible, but ahead of the scheduled closing date of Monday, 12th June 2023.

Where can I find out more?

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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.

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