PhD Studentship, Synthetic Strategies for Photosensitive Organic Diagnostics

Southampton, United Kingdom
£15,609 per annum
13 May 2021
End of advertisement period
31 Aug 2021
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Chemical Biology, Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 31 August 2021
Reference:  1373121EB
Supervisory Team:   Dr Sam Thompson & Professor Goran Mashanovich

Project description

Molecular recognition plays an essential role in all biological processes: from the molecular machinery of the ribosome that translates RNA into proteins, to the antibody-antigen response that has been at the centre of efforts to produce a Covid-19 vaccine. Many of these biological interactions occur over large surface areas that have evolved over vast periods of time to optimise both affinity and specificity. Can the power and creativity of organic synthesis be harnessed to produce small molecules that match the exquisite recognition properties of large biologics? This project will develop structure-guided rationally designed synthetic receptors of therapeutically relevant targets, with a particular focus on peptide- and protein-surface recognition in oncology and amyloidogenic degenerative conditions. The synthetic receptors will be displayed on a thin-film polymeric support integrated with a mid-IR photonic device. The resulting thin-film sensor will be tuned to recognise low concentrations of biochemical analyte in body fluids such as saliva and blood plasma. The long-term aim is application in clinical settings for point-of-care biochemical analysis.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Sam Thompson, Chemical Biology, Diagnostics and Therapeutics Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2187.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Chemistry (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Dr Sam Thompson 

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae
Two reference letters
Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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