Investing in the next generation of scientists

For drug discovery to continue making breakthroughs in medicine and healthcare, we’ve got to keep attracting the best young scientific talent.

That’s why we’ve been running medicinal chemistry workshops for outstanding PhD students and postdocs that give them a taste of what a career in the industry looks like – and help them decide where their futures lie.

To date, we’ve held three sessions across both our Nottingham and Alderley Park sites, welcoming 73 budding final-year synthetic organic and medicinal chemists for a day of presentations, seminars and interactive activities.

Attendees had the chance to get together in small groups to share their scientific areas of interest and also speak to experts from across our different departments at a dinner.

Topics included everything from what a day in the life of a scientist working in an integrated drug discovery project looks like to what makes a good drug and the role of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) in developing new medicines.

Looking to the future

Mihiro Sunose, Associate Director at Sygnature Discovery, has helped organise and deliver the workshops – and believes they are essential not only for participants, but also for our business.

“Drug discovery is a competitive industry, and that competition plays a big part in driving innovation forward to make much-needed breakthroughs,” Mihiro said.

“It’s been really exciting to meet so many passionate, intelligent people who are so enthusiastic to begin their scientific careers.

“Our aim is to inspire this next generation and invest in their futures, because doing so is also an investment in our company and the wider field of drug discovery.”

A medicinal chemistry workshop in Nottingham


A route into industry

In fact, the workshops have already proven beneficial to those who have attended past events; no fewer than 11 participants from our first workshop in April 2019 have since gained employment at Sygnature Discovery, while others have also had the opportunity to interview with us.

Mihiro added: “Getting an insight into the real-world, day-to-day life of a drug discovery scientist is really valuable for those who are keen to take the next step after their PhD or postdoc but haven’t yet worked in the industry.

“The workshops represent a significant investment on our part – they require plenty of planning, time and contributions from our specialists in multiple disciplines – but it’s a vitally important one.

“We want to encourage as many bright young minds as possible to consider a career in drug discovery, as it’s only with their involvement that the projects of the future will enjoy the best possible chance of success.”

Kickstart your career

Interested in attending a future workshop at Sygnature Discovery? Keep your eyes peeled on our News and Events page – work is already underway to plan the next event.

Looking to the next phase of scientific career? We’re hiring for a number of roles at our Nottingham and Alderley Park sites.

You can also learn more about integrated drug discovery by downloading our eBook.