Chemical Biology Resources Team Leader

Chemical Biology Resources Team Leader

EMBL-EBI - European Bioinformatics Institute

Hinxton, United Kingdom

The chemical biology team at EMBL-EBI delivers world-leading databases and resources to the scientific community. Our flagship resource, ChEMBL, is a database of high-quality quantitative small-molecule bioactivity data curated from the scientific literature and direct data depositions. SureChEMBL is a complementary patent resource containing chemical structures and biology/drug discovery annotations extracted daily from patents. UniChem links chemical structures across databases.

EMBL-EBI is a world-leading bioinformatics centre that provides life sciences data to the scientific community, performs basic research, and offers an extensive user training programme. The chemical biology team comprises an international and inter-disciplinary mix of professional scientists, informaticians, data scientists and software engineers.

This position is for an ambitious scientist with a passion for open data who wants to lead the development of these critical resources and significantly impact how the scientific community archives and re-uses chemical biology data. We need an inspiring and engaging leader who understands the importance of teamwork and is focused on delivering key tasks.

Your role

As Chemical Biology Resources Team Leader, you will develop the strategy and long-term vision for the chemical biology resources to serve the needs of researchers, data scientists, funders and the wider public. You will be responsible for managing the chemical biology and chemogenomics data resources at both a technical and scientific level and will ensure the appropriate integration of these data resources with the EMBL-EBI’s other activities. You will represent EMBL-EBI and the chemical biology team at international meetings and in consortia and work with the EMBL-EBI training team to contribute to workshops, courses and scientific conferences. You will interact and engage with members of the EMBL-EBI industry programme and Open Targets, our flagship public-private collaboration.

You will have direct responsibility for managing personnel within the team (21 staff members at present). You will also seek external funding for the resources to contribute to long-term sustainability and enable new developments in this area to ensure these resources maintain their world-leading status in the scientific community.

As part of the role, you will:

  • Have overall responsibility for the vision, leadership and management of EMBL-EBI’s chemical biology resources and databases
  • Ensure the continued high quality of the data in these resources and that they are regularly released and updated
  • Ensure the technical sustainability of chemical biology resources through the use of appropriate software/computational capabilities and algorithms; also seek opportunities to gain efficiencies through the use of shared code/algorithms/tools within these resources and with other relevant resources at the EMBL-EBI
  • Direct/indirect line management of staff within the chemical biology services team
  • Engage with the broader scientific community from academia and industry to ensure that EBI’s chemical biology resources remain world-leading and, in particular are “AI/ML ready”
  • Seek new opportunities to further enhance EBI’s chemical biology resources, for example through the use of AI/ML
  • Work with strategic partners (e.g. Open Targets, SGC, EMBL) to fully exploit opportunities to use chemical biology resources and to further enhance their content and utility
  • Actively promote EBI’s chemical biology resources through attendance at scientific conferences, workshops, EBI’s industry programme, scientific publications, social media, etc.

You have

Education & Qualifications:

  • PhD in cheminformatics/computational chemistry/ drug discovery/chemical biology/pharmacology

Professional Experience:

  • At least 10 years’ experience as user and/or provider of chemical biology and bioactivity data and in the practical applications of such data
  • Broad knowledge of major informatics resources relevant to chemical biology and drug discovery

Knowledge and appreciation of multiple aspects of pre-clinical drug discovery (e.g. target selection, hit generation, lead optimisation, safety, ADME):

  • Practical line-management experience including goal-setting, annual reviews/appraisals, recruitment, career development

Functional Competencies & Technical Skills:

  • Knowledge and practical experience working with:
    • chemical structure data and formats
    • drug discovery bioactivity data
  • Knowledge of scientific ontologies relevant to drug discovery
  • Understanding and appreciation of data curation approaches
  • Practical experience in software development, database design, user experience approaches

Interpersonal & Communication Skills:

  • Self-motivated with a drive for quality
  • Excellent communication skills, verbal/written
  • Strong team player but able to advocate own position
  • Able to travel to external meetings as required

You might also have

  • A track record of visible contributions to the scientific community e.g. publications, conference presentations, panel memberships, journal editorship
  • Knowledge of machine learning and AI

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