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Theme Leader, Medicinal Chemistry – Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Location: Parkville campus 

Employment Type: Full-time 

Duration: Continuing appointment

Remuneration: A competitive remuneration package will apply



  • Join the World number 2 in Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 
  • Lead research activities in Medicinal Chemistry. 
  • Collaborate across the drug discovery and development pipeline with experts at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (MIPS), Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the broader Parkville and Clayton precincts. 
  • Extraordinary potential to develop drug discovery research in Melbourne’s premiere scientific hubs. 

Monash is full of thinkers and doers, who are looking for their next challenge. So, if you’ve forged a rewarding career so far, this role provides the perfect platform to join us. You’ll have access to national and world-leading research facilities, infrastructure and teaching spaces to do exciting work, along with opportunities to collaborate within Melbourne’s scientific research ecosystem, and internationally. You’ll be part of a University that’s made up of inspirational, challenging thinkers and doers – and continue doing work that makes a lasting impact. Discover more at www.monash.edu. 

Notably, for the past 5 years Monash has been ranked in the top 3 institutions in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmacology, and in 2023 is World number 2 in QS World University Rankings by Subject.  

MIPS researchers at work in a labThe Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is dynamic, innovative and ambitious, engaging in world-class research and being a leading education provider for over 140 years. The Faculty’s premises are located in ‘the Parkville Strip’, Australia’s premiere health and biomedical precinct. To learn more about the Faculty, please visit: www.monash.edu/pharm/. 

The Faculty’s key research initiative is the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), which engages some of the best equipped and most experienced pharmaceutical scientists and medicine experts in Australia.  

About Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

MIPS integrates research from five fundamental Themes to identify, develop, optimise and deliver new drug treatments – ultimately translating basic research into clinical trials. These Themes are Medicinal Chemistry; Drug Discovery Biology; Drug Delivery, Disposition and Dynamics; the Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation; and the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety. 

MIPS is Australia’s largest, most experienced and successful group of pharmaceutical scientists. Over 250 staff and 250 PhD students undertake basic and translational drug discovery and drug development research in new, state-of-the-art laboratories on Monash’s Parkville campus. The Institute’s contemporary and collaborative organisational structure enables research to occur at the intersection of core scientific disciplines. Collaboration at these disciplinary interfaces can transform medicine design and development outcomes. 

MIPS’s key therapeutic programs span across neuroscience, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, global health issues, cancer, immunity, pain and inflammation. Its staff include international leaders in G protein-coupled receptor biology, translational medicinal chemistry, structural biology, lead candidate optimisation, drug formulation and delivery, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacometrics and medication safety. 

MIPS has strong partnerships with industry leaders, including the global drug companies, Servier and Takeda, biotechnology companies, including Starpharma and PureTech Health, and our own start-up companies such as Cincera, Ankere and Septerna. In total, we have long-term collaborative research programs with more than 20 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. MIPS also collaborates with leading national and international research Institutes and Universities and attracts substantial support from Industry, Government, philanthropy and multiple Funding agencies. The Institute’s supporters include the Australian Research Council, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Victorian State Government, the National Institutes of Health in the US, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and various philanthropic organisations, including the Wellcome Trust.  

The Medicinal Chemistry Theme at MIPS has major areas of research focus in synthetic medicinal chemistry, structure-based drug design, fragment based drug discovery and chemical biology. Research strengths also include peptide science, chemical biology and computational chemistry. The Theme is the headquarter organisation for an ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Fragment Based Design, a national training centre with collaborators from Griffith University and the University of Sydney and research partners including CSIRO, Takeda, and Vernalis, and is also home to the Australian Translational Medicinal Chemistry Facility. The Theme has a significant focus in translational drug discovery and recent achievements include start-ups including Cincera and Ankere Therapeutics to develop novel agents to treat metabolic disease and fibrosis. 

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The Opportunity 

Scientist The position of Theme Leader in the Medicinal Chemistry theme at MIPS is a significant leadership position and assumes supervisory responsibility for ~10 Teaching and Research Faculty members and their research groups, including post-doctoral researchers, self-funded fellows and post graduate students; a total of approximately 100 researchers. 

The Theme Leader, Medicinal Chemistry will foster excellence in research, teaching, professional activities and staff development in the Medicinal Chemistry Theme at MIPS. The Theme Leader takes an active role in mentoring and development, and inspires and motivates academic staff across the Theme to achieve their full potential. Through their leadership, the Theme Leader will also further enhance the reputation of the Theme within academia and industry, creating an environment that fosters and supports sustained growth, and allows the Theme and its academics to showcase their combined expertise and research capability on a global scale. 

The role is part of a dynamic research Theme in MIPS working on fundamental and translational projects in the areas of medicinal chemistry, chemical biology and drug discovery. The successful candidate will be expected to lead their own internationally competitive research program aligned with the interests of MIPS, and to lead the process to determine the progress and directions of the Medicinal Chemistry Theme. The aims and outcomes of the research seek to influence the development of new therapeutics with a particular emphasis in the key therapeutic areas of (i) global health, (ii) cardiovascular & metabolic health and (iii) neuroscience and mental health. 

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To learn more, and to apply 


Monash University has engaged De Sailly Search to ensure the search reaches the widest pool of eligible candidates. For a confidential discussion and to apply, contact Dr Rosalind De Sailly on MonashMedChem@desailly.com.au 

To apply 

Your application must address the selection criteria listed in the Position Description, individually and systematically. Other components of an application are:

  1. A cover letter (two pages maximum) which contains a brief outline of what interests you in the position and what you would be coming to achieve.
  2. Full academic CV
    A full CV containing details of all positions and responsibilities held, complete publications, information on all grants, patents and projects, and educational qualifications and other awards.
  3. Nominated referees.
    Please provide details of five referees. Referees are not contacted until later in the process and not without consulting you first.

Applications and all enquiries are to be sent to the email address MonashMedChem@desailly.com.au 

Position Description 

Download File  

Closing Date 

Friday 19 May 2023, 11:55pm AEST 

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