Sustaining Innovation Postdocs

Astex Pharmaceuticals is a world leader in innovative drug discovery. The Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral Training Program aims to maintain and further enhance the Company’s excellent scientific culture. This is an opportunity to join a diverse and dynamic team exploring new ideas that are relevant to and may enhance our drug discovery approach.

Astex scientists have pioneered Fragment-Based Drug Discovery, generating multiple new drug candidates that are progressing through clinical development.

What we offer

  • Opportunities to learn about drug design from target evaluation to the clinic
  • Cutting edge research in structural biology
  • Access to novel tool molecules, targets and insights in cancer biology and drug discovery
  • Development of new technologies for fragment-based drug design
  • Participation in collaborations with world-leading academic groups and institutes
  • The Chris Abell Sustaining Innovation Award is awarded annually to a member of staff for excellence in post-doctoral scientific research achievement at Astex

Join us in sustaining innovation

Our Postdoctoral training programs are for high calibre PhD scientists to perform cutting-edge research in an innovative and dynamic research environment.

Postdoctoral Research Associates are expected to perform exploratory research as part of a multi-disciplinary team and publish in high impact scientific journals.

Astex is always looking to attract highly motivated PhD scientists from multiple research areas, including Neuroscience, Computational Chemistry, Bioinformatics, Structural Biology, Biophysics, Medicinal Chemistry and Cancer Biology.

Applicants may also propose their own scientific projects in drug discovery technology.

Please click here to view our current Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral Research opportunities.

The Chris Abell Sustaining Innovation Award

Professor Chris Abell was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor of Biological Chemistry and Todd-Hamied Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge. His highly interdisciplinary research in the Department of Chemistry was focused on the development of novel approaches for inhibiting enzymes that drive the pathology of diseases such as tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, and cancer.

In 1999, together with Dr Harren Jhoti and Professor Sir Tom Blundell, he co-founded Astex and was instrumental in the company’s development over 20 years. He remained a key member of the Scientific Advisory Board and a regular visitor and mentor to many Astex members of staff.

In recognition of his contributions to Astex, the company has established the ‘Chris Abell Sustaining Innovation Award’ for post-doctoral research. Given annually, this award recognizes the scientific achievements of an individual within our multidisciplinary Sustaining Innovation Postdoctoral research programme.


2023 – Dr. Lucian Chan: Structure-based Design Driven by Artificial Intelligence

2022 – Dr. Nicole Holzmann: Quantum Computing for Chemistry

2021 – Dr. Rachel Grainger: Enabling Automated Chemical Synthesis in FBDD