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PhD Studentships in Chemistry, Biology, Pharmacy

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PhD Studentships in Chemistry


For details of how to apply for any of the projects outlined below please click on the following hyperlink:

Analysis of Biological Macromolecules Using High-Field NMR and GC-MS

Modern analytical science techniques (NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry) are ideal tools for characterizing the structures of biological macromolecules. One group of macromolecules which have not been studied in great depth are the carbohydrate based structures used to decorate the surface of bacteria. These cell wall decorations are usually the first point of contact with mammalian cells when bacteria invade our bodies. Recent evidence has suggested that the contacts formed are responsible for influencing how our immune systems respond: producing either a positive or negative interaction. In this project we will use high-field NMR (600 MHz with cold probe) and mass spectrometry to characterise the structure of a range of carbohydrate based materials derived from bacteria.

Contact Prof. Andy Laws [email protected] Tel: 01484-472668

Biorefinery, bioenergy and biochemicals: biosynthesis towards value-added bio-products from biomass

The successful candidate joining the active biomass refining group at the University of Huddersfield will focus on value-added biofuel and biochemical production, replacing fossil fuel dependency. Specific aims for this project will be investigating lignocellulosic feedstock and marine biomass (macroalgae) for conversion into high value chemicals. Depending on skills and interests, this project will be suitable for a candidate with either a (bio)- chemical engineering or synthetic biology background. A 2-months visit to Hong Kong City University will be included as a part of the training program.

Contact Dr Chenyu Du [email protected] 01484 472378

Surface composition and crystal growth of insoluble lead minerals in tap waters.

Many older properties in the U.K. are still connected to the water mains in the street by a length of lead pipe. The slow corrosion of this pipe results in the discharge of lead into drinking water. Lead is a public health issue and there are strict limits to the levels that are permitted in drinking waters. The current level in the U.K. is 10 ppb. Most water utilities in the U.K. add small amounts of phosphate to tap water as this has been found to be very effective at reducing lead concentrations. It is thought that this promotes the formation of insoluble lead phosphate minerals. But how these minerals grow is unclear. The insides of lead water pipes contain a thin mineral layer containing lead oxides, carbonates and phosphates and the focus of this project is on the crystallisation of these minerals. Full training will be given in a range of analytical techniques including powder x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, crystal growth and modelling of mineral solubilities. There will also be opportunities to work with major water utilities and to attend industrial and academic conferences. Candidates must be interested in environmental geochemistry and crystallisation but previous experience is not required.

Contact Dr Jeremy Hopwood [email protected] 01484 473989

Multimodal metal complexes as anticancer and antimicrobial theranostic platforms

The unique photophysical properties of transition metal complexes offer significant potential opportunities in areas of diagnostic imaging as well as light-activated therapeutic activity. This multidisciplinary project will bring together expertise in frontier transition metal photophysics and photochemistry, cancer pharmacology and state-of-the-art confocal microscopy to focus on the development of novel multimodal molecular platforms that enable selective diagnostic luminescent imaging and allow targeted photo-initiation of cytotoxicity. Full interdisciplinary training will be given in chemical synthesis and characterisation, photophysical study, cell culture and microscopic imaging. Applications are encouraged from enthusiastic, motivated and ambitious graduates from the chemical, pharmaceutical or biochemical sciences.

Contact Professor Paul Elliott [email protected] 01484 472320

Development of a metal-doped nanostructured ‘electro-photocatalytic’ material to be activated by light and electromagnetic fields.

Currently, the materials that have photocatalytic properties are exclusively activated by light. The difficulty of providing a homogeneous illumination to materials in bulk form has limited the use of photocatalysis in a large industrial scale. The aim of the proposed research project is to develop a novel metal doped nanostructured catalysts that can be activated by light and by an electromagnetic field.

Dr Anyela Ramirez-Canon ([email protected]) 01484 473399

Novel Green Technologies: Harnessing the Utility of Reducing Sugars

The Camp group has long-standing experience in the use of renewable sugars in chemical transformations and as replacement for traditional petroleum based solvents. Industrial and governmental drivers are pushing for greener, safe and more cost efficient methods for the production of the chemicals on which we have all come to rely. This PhD will be primarily focused on the development of (a) novel sugar-powered catalysis methods in which the reducing potential of the sugar is harnessed to power chemical reactions and (b) the use of the bio-available solvent Cyrene in industrially relevant processes. Initial area of focus will build upon our recently published work on a novel Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction as well as on the synthesis of ureas in Cyrene.

The successful candidate should have a 1st or good 2.1 MSci/MSc degree with at least one year of laboratory based research (i.e. laboratory based MSci/MSc project or industrial experience). The studentship is scheduled to begin in September 2018.

Further information about the group can be found here.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Jason Camp, tel: 01484 473180 or email: [email protected]

PhD Studentships in Chemistry

Hierarchical Investigation of Thermoelectric Oxide-Polyanion Structures

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