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Principal Scientist - Drug Discovery - Target Validation

COMPENSATION: Competitive with share options available

LOCATION: The Schrodinger Building, Oxford Science Park, Oxford

NUCLEOME THERAPEUTICS, a fast-growing biotech that is leveraging a proprietary gene regulation platform, based on a decade of world-leading research from Oxford University, to unlock the non-coding genome for drug target discovery and development.

We are building a passionate, creative and dedicated multi-disciplinary team of scientists with expertise in gene regulation, genomics, machine learning, drug discovery, data analysis and software development, whose mission is to decode and mine the regulatory “dark matter” of the human genome to transform drug target discovery and help deliver the next generation of genetically guided therapeutics. We are building a rewarding and fun environment where people embrace creative ways of thinking, take smart risks, and feel empowered to make a difference.

The Role

We are seeking a highly creative and innovative Principal Scientist with expertise in drug target validation, a self-starter, who would thrive in the dynamic environment of a growing biotechnology company. The position has a strong focus on project leadership, and the successful candidate will lead our internal target validation activities and prioritise targets for early drug discovery programmes. In this role you will utilise your drug target biology experience to build hypotheses and generate biological validation data packages to support the progression of targets that emerge from Nucleome’s platform technology. You will lead target identification and validation efforts across a range of immune-mediated diseases. In addition to supplying targets to our internal asset development programmes you will identify novel opportunities for external partnering. Working together with the in vitro cellular pharmacology team lead and their team, you will provide project leadership for asset programmes as they progress through to early drug discovery. As an independent thinker you will plan and implement experiments, interpret the data, and effectively distil complexity into concise communication, whilst training and mentoring more junior scientific staff. You’ll be an active participant in our external collaborations with partners, academic centres and CROs. You will be part of an interdisciplinary team and closely collaborate with computational and genomics scientists to guide drug target discovery efforts. You will have an integral role in the venture, take ownership of the work and demonstrate an exceptional work ethic towards discovering breakthrough medicines that will improve patients’ lives.

What we are looking for

Essential knowledge
  • Thorough understanding of the principles and practice of early drug discovery, gained from direct practical experience in industry in an immunological disease area. 
  • Deep understanding of Immunological disease biology and practical experience of target validation methods working with primary immune cells in culture. 
  • Solid understanding of the clinical and competitive considerations that impact upon drug target prioritisation and selection, derived from prior first-hand experience leading target validation projects to nomination. 
  • Practical understanding of drug target selection for antibody biologics and/or small molecule programmes.
Essential Skills and Experience
  • PhD level qualification or MSc and equivalent experience in a relevant biological science 
  • 10+ years in an industrial biopharmaceutical setting, working in early drug discovery through to candidate selection,  
  • Strong leadership skills with direct personal experience of leading early-stage drug discovery projects through target nomination.  
  • A track record in contributing directly to the delivery of preclinical candidates, working across multiple projects to deliver on objectives in defined timelines 
  • Ability to design research project plans including short-term and long-term experimental plans, needs assessment, prioritise follow-up studies (timelines, costs, deliverables). 
  • Experience of complex cell culture/co-culture systems and/or establishment of ex vivo assays 
  • Understanding of in vivo efficacy study design and the principles of in vivo PKPD. 
  • Ability to design and run experiments, interpret data, troubleshoot, and suggest next steps and identify alternative approaches. 
  • Ability to develop and improve new skills and knowledge necessary to successfully support assigned projects.  
  • Outstanding communication, organisational and leadership skills, with a successful track record of collaborating with cross-functional, matrix teams.  
  • Strong organisational and time management skills; ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, as well as ability to prioritise and balance competing demands.  
  • A positive “can-do” and result oriented attitude, with openness to new ideas and ability to work flexibly in a highly dynamics environment.
Preferred experience
  • Experience in target validation using genetic approaches (e.g., RNAi/CRISPR) 
  • Experience in immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or in situ hybridisation (ISH) 
  • Practical understanding of in vitro cellular pharmacology applied to early drug discovery up to preclinical selection 
  • Practical understanding of areas of drug discovery outside of primary area of expertise 
  • Previous experience of interaction with external partners and/or management of projects via Contract Research Organisations (CROs). 
  • Experience in working in the Autoimmune Disease Therapeutic Area 
  • Understanding of genomics techniques 
To apply please send us your CV and cover letter at careers@nucleome.com. If you know someone who could be a good fit, please share this posting with them. 
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At Nucleome Therapeutics equality, diversity and inclusion is really important to us. We welcome applications from all candidates irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.