TL;DR: CCK-17, will be on Thursday, November 28th, 2019, at 5:00 pm in the Seminar Room, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QU. Free CCK-17 tickets are available.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Dr Wendy Warr (Wendy Warr and Associates, UK): “My Way”

“Comp Chem Kitchen”, CCK-17, will be at 5-6 pm on Thursday, November 28th, 2019, in the Seminar Room, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QU. Our main talk will be a little different from our usual talks. We are delighted to announce Oxford Chemistry alumna, and just-announced winner of the 2020 Herman Skolnick Award, Dr Wendy Warr will be speaking:

Dr Wendy Warr
  • I would like to run through my very varied career experiences but then relate them to what I have done much more recently, and, ultimately, what current students might do in future. For example, the introduction of high throughput screening (HTS) in about 1989 led me to travel around the United States looking at robotically controlled compound stores. I have always had a particular interest in chemical reaction handling and that relates to the current revival in interest in retrosynthesis software, and to AI for reaction prediction. In about 1993-1996, I became a combinatorial chemistry guru. That relates to robotic synthesis also. My very early interest in chemical structure representation (1968!), and later in graphics-based systems for structure searching, relates to the current interest in huge databases of virtual molecules (e.g., Enamine REAL), big data, the need for ultrafast structure searching systems, and de novo drug design.


  • January 1992 – present, President, Wendy Warr & Associates
    • Wendy Warr & Associates supplies business and competitive intelligence services to a broad spectrum of clients in the United States, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and Asia. Our success stems from our extensive network and our specialized knowledge of publishing, cheminformatics, and computational chemistry. Pharmaceutical companies, venture capitalists, publishers, software companies, and scientific database producers have benefited from our expert counsel and services in recent years.
  • 1972 – 1991, ICI Pharmaceuticals
    • 1986 – 1992, Manager, Information Services (managed department of 50+ people)
    • 1984 – 1986, Manager, Research Information
    • 1979 – 1984, Senior Systems Analyst/Project Manager for Chemical Information
    • 1976 – 1979, Senior Information Scientist and Systems Analyst
    • 1972 – 1976, Information Scientist
  • 1970 – 1972, Robinson Brothers Ltd., Research Chemist
  • 1968 – 1970, University of Oxford, Part-time Research Assistant, Experimental Information Unit

Lightning Talks

  • Richard Gowers (Senior Software Engineer, NextMove Software):Element Parsing Served Five Ways
    • This talk will explore different levels of optimising a seemingly simple task. Along the way various algorithms used in chemical similarity, bioinformatics and text mining will be discussed.
      • Richard is a Senior Software Engineer at NextMove Software, which develops cheminformatics solutions deployed globally at 9 of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies. He is also the lead developer of MDAnalysis, a Python toolkit for… MD analysis, fancy that.
  • Andre Frade (DPhil student, Department of Chemistry):From molecular diagrams to material properties: development of new tools and frameworks”.

Refreshments will be provided, including beer.

We would like to thank the University of Oxford MPLS Network and Interdisciplinary Fund (NIF) for making CCK possible.

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Job: Computational Chemist at Oxford Drug Design

Oxford Drug Design is a unique biotechnology company. Supported by a proprietary set of computational chemistry methods developed in-house over the past 15 years, we are discovering new antibiotics to address the urgent threat of multi-drug resistant infections. Following success in obtaining funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation agency, we are expanding our computer-aided drug design (CADD) team.

Your Role:

  • Develop and validate novel CADD methodology in the areas of machine learning, statistical methods, chemogenomics and computational chemistry, working in a multidisciplinary team of internal and external colleagues, and be a key contributor to their success.
  • Use a diverse array of computational technology to devise hypotheses for structure-activity relationships and compounds to test these hypotheses, focused on our antibiotic drug discovery portfolio.
  • Maintain and build our internal cheminformatics databases and search technologies.
  • Maintain awareness of the latest technologies and developments in CADD and project areas.
  • Maintain an internal and external scientific presence by authoring significant scientific presentations and publications. 

Who you are:

You will hold a PhD (or equivalent experience) in computer science, machine learning, computational chemistry, or a related field. Industry experience would be an advantage. You are expected to have a high degree of independence and self-motivation. Ideally, your background would include some of the following:

  • Expertise in machine learning and other statistical approaches to data analysis and model generation.
  • Expertise in scientific computing, and good programming skills (Python, C++ and Java skills are particularly relevant).
  • Expertise in using cheminformatics techniques and relational databases.
  • Knowledge of computational chemistry and medicinal chemistry concepts is an advantage.
  • Very good written and verbal communication skills.

Please note that candidates must be eligible and able to work in the UK. Please include details of your eligibility with your application.

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter by 23 April-2019, quoting reference CC19-1, to: [email protected]

Oxford Drug Design Ltd., Oxford Centre for Innovation, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1BY, UK Telephone: +44 (0)1865 261469