at University of Cape Town
Location Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Date Posted
Category General
Work Hours Day
Salary 612053
Salary Units YEAR
Currency ZAR



The Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D) is an interdisciplinary, soft- ndj funded research unit at the University of Cape Town. H3D staff and laboratories are situated across three sites on UCT Campus. H3D is seeking to appoint an experienced computational chemist as an Investigator on a 3-year contract, starting on 01 July 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. This position will provide computational chemistry support to the medicinal chemistry teams at H3D for the design and analysis of novel compounds to optimize drug-like properties on drug discovery projects.


  • PhD in an appropriate discipline or equivalent
  • At least 2 years postdoctoral industrial or academic experience as a computational/structural chemist in a drug

discovery or related research laboratory

  • Proficiency in a programming or scripting language (e.g., Python, Perl, or Java).
  • In depth knowledge of molecular modelling softwares, data visualisation and pipelining tools
  • Capability to utilize MD simulation tools and/or Quantum Mechanics in drug discovery.
  • A track record of publications in medicinal chemistry and/or computational chemistry journals
  • Demonstrated ability to derive structure-activity relationships based on protein-ligand binding interactions and

cheminformatics analyses.

  • Comfortable working in a matrix-based organizational structure


  • Ability to apply medicinal chemistry practices for pre-clinical drug discovery.
  • Strong track-record in translational, multidisciplinary team-based research

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Independently perform structural analysis of bioactive compounds for binding to biomolecules/receptors.
  • Perform structure-activity and structure-property relationship studies (including QSAR, PCA or other analyses) of

the chemical series and provide feedback to the team towards design and progression of molecules in drug

discovery pipeline.

  • Capability to learn Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence for drug discovery or interface with experts in the field.
  • Assist and train chemists on installation and usage of basic structural analysis tools and software.
  • Comply with standard operating procedures for data management.
  • Participate and present work in project meetings and write research reports.
  • Supervision of Post Docs, students and junior staff may be required.


Interested candidates can send their CV


To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Ms Natasha Khan

- UCT Application Form (download at

- Cover letter stating your suitability for the role

- Curriculum Vitae (CV)

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