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Head of Medicinal Chemistry Slough, UK


Slough, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Job Function:  Research & Early Development
Job ID:  65709



At UCB everything we do starts with a simple question: “How will this make a difference to the lives of people living with severe diseases?” We do that by connecting with patients and their families around the world living with the physical and social burdens of severe disease of the immune system and the central nervous system. Those connections offer new perspectives, drive innovation, and offer the hope of a new generation of therapies that will help to transform lives.


Role overview

The primary purpose of the role is the delivery of clinical candidates through Medicinal Chemistry functional excellence, formation of strong internal cross-functional interactions and fostering key external collaborations, to allow for the application of science of the highest quality in a timely manner.


Given the critical importance of the role, you will take a leadership role in the development of our Global Chemistry scientific strategy and Drug Discovery capabilities.  You will report directly to the Head of Global Chemistry and will be part of the Global Chemistry Leadership Team leading a high performing team of Medicinal Chemists.


Primary responsibilities

  • Inspirational leadership and management of all medicinal chemistry/drug discovery aspects of the team, driving scientific/technical excellence.
  • Advancing projects to successful completion/decision making milestones in a timely manner.
  • Forging strong internal cross-functional interactions and fostering key external collaborations.
  • Introduction, development and application of novel technologies/working practices which deliver significant improvements to the drug discovery process.
  • Promote an entrepreneurial culture and drive scientific excellence through constructive challenge and debate.
  • Proactive contribution to the development of Global Chemistry scientific vision & strategy and overall UCB Drug Discovery capabilities.
  • Proactively help to drive a strong Portfolio of novel targets and projects for disease intervention.
  • Proactive contribution to problem solving and scientific cross-fertilisation of the laboratories beyond the immediate area of project and functional responsibility.
  • Foster a culture of inclusion conducive to talent development.
  • Lead by example and motivate teams with authenticity, vision, integrity, adaptability, resilience and provide clear direction.
  • Ambassador for UCB in the scientific community.


Essential experience

  • A PhD or Postdoc (or equivalent) in a relevant scientific discipline (e.g. Chemistry/Natural Sciences).
  • Recognised international expert in the field of Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Discovery & Development with strong track record of delivery of clinical candidates, publications and patents.
  • Detailed understanding of, and commitment to, novel enabling technologies and ways of working, key to advancing medicinal chemistry discipline towards high productivity.
  • Ability to think strategically, to discern strengths and weaknesses of biological targets, to identify critical decision-making experiments and to identify opportunities for new programs.
  • As an influential leader, you have built a track record of developing, coaching and mentoring teams and you inspire cross functional collaboration and performance.
  • Proven track record of taking intelligent risks, sense of urgency and tenacity in the prosecution of project goals, demonstrated courage in decision making and a willingness to be held accountable for decisions.
  • Strong networker, influencer and communicator.


We can offer you an exciting working environment where initiative can flourish and those with a ‘can-do’ attitude can thrive.  Scientific excellence, innovation, co-creation, lateral thinking, reinventing the way we do things…these are some of the key competencies we are constantly developing, and looking for, at UCB. Would you like to join a world class team that wants to make a real difference in immunology and neurology?   Working in the Global Chemistry team at UCB you’ll utilize your extensive expertise to contribute in teams that are focused on creating value for patients living with severe disease.  Are you the impactful leader we are looking for?


About us.

UCB- Inspired by Patients. Driven by Science. Everything we do starts with a simple question: “How will this create value for people living with severe diseases?” By putting patients at the heart of what we do, our approach – from discovery to development to delivery – is continuously transformed and designed around patient needs and their journey.

With a team of approximately 7,500 employees and operations in more than 40 countries, we are a global biopharmaceutical company investing more than a quarter of our revenue in cutting-edge scientific research. We are focused on addressing chronic, neurological, immunological, and bone diseases.

Curious to know more? Please visit our website www.ucb.com.

UCB and its subsidiaries encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace; we are an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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