Drug Design & Selection (Pharmaceuticals R&D)

What is our role in Drug Discovery?

Drug Design and Selection (DDS) supports the therapeutic areas within GSK that contribute to the discovery of new medicines. We do this by collaboratively identifying disease-linked targets and selecting 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 the drug development 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 this career path be like?

3 years
3 rotations

You will be a full-time, permanent employee with the same competitive benefits as other new starters at GSK.  Within the first three years at GSK, you will complete three 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. 

GSK offers a range of opportunities leading to successful science careers. The Future Leaders Programme aims to focus our resources on training highly motivated and capable scientists. You’ll have the benefit of improving your technical skills while gaining valuable leadership training in the pharmaceutical industry. We will offer you ongoing training and personal development, teach you about GSK’s Values and Leadership Expectations and give you the best possible start to a long and rewarding career in drug discovery.

Biology Miniaturisation Scientist

This role is UK-based (Stevenage) and sits within Screening, Profiling and Mechanistic Biology. This area of DDS 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. In doing so, we help establish and maintain awareness of the target and therapeutic rationale across the areas 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.

If you have, or expect to obtain in 2017, an MSc (2:1 or better) or PhD in Biochemistry, Biophysics, Bioengineering, or a related subject please see the UK page to apply for the role.

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 our scientific undertakings. We do this 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 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 practice 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.

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 please see the UK page to apply for the role.

What will I learn?

Part of a vibrant, global scientific community, you’ll work in multidisciplinary teams that deliver therapeutic strategies to address specific disease areas. You’ll never be far from an expert who can help you to learn, grow and contribute to our business and you’ll be coached and mentored to become a leader of the future through intensive, practical leadership training.

Where can I work?

This career path is based in our site in Stevenage. The roles are UK-based and sit within multiple areas of DDS.

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 of the fast-moving pharmaceutical 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, a keen interest in the healthcare industry 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 will have the drive and confidence to trust your own judgement, you’ll also be 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.

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