Researcher (Team Leader) in Oligonucleotide Chemistry

University of Gothenburg

Application deadline

September 6, 2021

Researcher (Team Leader) in Oligonucleotide Chemistry

OligoNova Hub – National Swedish Infrastructure for Therapeutic Oligonucleotides, University of Gothenburg

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

OligoNova Hub is a national research infrastructure that will provide academic researchers in Sweden with the support and capabilities needed to transform ideas and discoveries into new oligonucleotide therapies. OligoNova Hub is located at the University of Gothenburg Core Units, and is also part of the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab: Drug Discovery and Development (DDD) platform, a national resource comprising around 40 highly motivated scientists, most of whom have industrial drug discovery experience.

The University of Gothenburg are now recruiting a motivated and engaged Researcher / Team Leader in oligonucleotide chemistry for OligoNova Hub and SciLifeLab DDD. This is an exciting opportunity to lead a team of scientists to design, synthesize, and optimize therapeutic oligonucleotides in our discovery projects.

Job assignments

As Team Leader for Oligonucleotide Chemistry you will build and lead a highly performing team of 4-5 scientists delivering oligonucleotides to drug discovery projects at OligoNova Hub. You will provide coaching, training, and development to your team of scientists by advising and challenging them. You will develop and maintain a high level of science and technology knowledge to drive the team vision and develop proposals for improved practice around therapeutic oligonucleotide design, synthesis, and property optimization.

With your thorough knowledge of the drug discovery process, you will lead from the lab. You will be responsible for the design and synthesis of oligonucleotides, both internally and in collaborations with external partners (including organization of work by contract research organizations) to ensure application of state of the art knowledge. You will be involved in project prioritization and communication with other parts of the OligoNova and SciLifeLab-DDD organizations. The role also includes leading and coordinating multidisciplinary projects related to drug and/or technology development, and you will work across skill groups within and outside of your own function at OligoNova Hub and the SciLifeLab DDD platform. Ultimately, you will influence strategic developments of the OligoNova Hub.

Main Responsibilities

  • Directly impact oligonucleotide drug discovery/development projects to ensure high scientific standards and a high quality of compound design to meet project objectives.
  • Actively contribute to projects (compound synthesis and characterization, interpretation of assay results, lead optimization, and documentation).
  • Contribute to project prioritization and project management within OligoNova Hub.
  • Contribute to the strategic vision for the future development of oligonucleotides and their application to relevant disease areas.
  • Actively contribute to building OligoNova Hub by identifying investment needs and leading development of laboratory capabilities.
  • Participate in recruiting new projects to OligoNova Hub.
  • Represent OligoNova Hub at conferences and meetings.
  • Maintain/develop key cross-functional interactions within OligoNova Hub and the SciLifeLab DDD platform, as well as with external partners.
  • Mentor colleagues by providing expert advice and support for data interpretation.
  • Identify/engage with leading internal and external experts.
  • Be strong team player and mentor for junior scientists.


  • Must hold PhD in organic or medicinal chemistry; post-doctoral fellowship experience is highly meriting.
  • Must be fluent in written and spoken English.

Additional Qualifications

  • Must have in-depth scientific knowledge in the area of oligonucleotides including design, synthesis and data analysis proven by track record of project deliveries, publications, external presentations or similar.
  • Must be experienced in the use and application of modern synthetic, analytical, biophysical and computational techniques, particularly as used to progress oligonucleotide based projects.
  • Should be familiar with recent developments in areas relevant to oligonucleotide based drug discovery, e.g. pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, safety, formulation, and screening approaches.
  • Strong documented leadership capabilities with an emphasis on people management is highly meriting.
  • Documented ability to manage complex collaborations and partnerships including leading projects is highly meriting.
  • Should have excellent communication (written and verbal) and influencing skills.
  • An ability to engage and collaborate across boundaries with a problem-solving attitude and delivery focus is very important.
  • Solid experience in the pharmaceutical drug discovery process is meriting.


The position is a full-time, permanent position (100%), placed at OligoNova units within the Core Units at the University of Gothenburg. A probationary employment period of 6 months may be applied. Start date as soon as possible.

Appointment procedure

Applicants will be evaluated based on submitted documents, interviews, and references. Particular emphasis will be placed on documented strengths in oligonucleotide chemistry, management of drug discovery projects, and people management.

For further information regarding the position

For questions regarding the position you are welcome to contact Pär Matsson, Scientific Director, OligoNova Hub, or Elisabet Carlsohn, Head of Sambio Core Units,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Closing date: 2021-09-06

Apply by submitting an electronic application in English, containing a personal letter, your complete CV, list of publications and patents, three current letters of recommendation, and a summary of previous experience in oligonucleotide chemistry, drug discovery and project/people management.

Last updated: 2021-07-09

Content Responsible: David Gotthold(