£6,000 FindAPhD Scholarship | APPLICATIONS CLOSING SOON! £6,000 FindAPhD Scholarship | APPLICATIONS CLOSING SOON!

A biomimetic approach to peroxide-derived polyketide synthesis

   Department of Chemistry

About the Project

Loughborough University has seen 94% of our research impact rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, underlining the wide-ranging positive impacts that our research has on the world (REF, 2021).

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. Find out more.

Reference code: CM/MK-Un1/2021

Campus: Loughborough

Closing date of advert: 30th September 2022

Start date: January 2022, April 2022, July 2022, October 2022

Full-time/part-time availability: Full-time (3 years)

Fee band (2021/22 academic year): Band RB (UK: £4,500; international: £24,100)

Link to supervisor's online staff profile page: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/chemistry/staff/academic-research/marc-kimber/

Link to supervisor's online staff profile page: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/chemistry/staff/academic-research/gareth-pritchard/

Project detail:

Marine sponges are a source of complex peroxide-derived polyketides natural products with unique and captivating molecular structures.1 Significantly, these natural products frequently display outstanding biological activities (antimicrobial, antiviral and anticancer) underlining their substantial therapeutic potential in addressing some of the world most pressing health concerns such as antimicrobial resistance, and the emergence of ‘world altering’ viral pathogens.

Manzamenone K and untenolide A2 are two unique peroxide-derived polyketides natural products that are structurally related are thereby have a common biomimetic origin. The goal of the research programme is to complete the synthesis of both manzamenone K and untenolide A. The construction of manzamenone K will be accomplished through an ambitious biomimetically inspired3 synthetic strategy; this will then provide enough material to complete the synthesis of untenolide A. With ample synthetic material of each natural product, the antimicrobial and antiviral activities will be established.

It is expected that the synthesis of manzamenone K and untenolide A will represent a step-change in the construction of peroxide-derived polyketides natural products. It will showcase biomimetic structural analysis and innovative tactics in chemical synthesis, as well as strategies and methodology that will have relevance to other complex of peroxide-derived polyketides natural products of structural and biological significance, as well as providing an excellent training platform to the prospective PhD candidate in our new state-of-the-art laboratories here at Loughborough.

Entry requirements:

2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant subject.

English language requirements: Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the international website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/applicants/english/

How to apply:

All applications should be made online: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/research-applications/

Under school/department name, select ‘Chemistry’. Please quote reference CM/MK-Un1/2021.

The deadline for applications is 30th September 2022.


[1] Norris, M. D. et al. Nat. Prod. Rep. 2016, 33, 861; [2] Takeuchi, S. et al. Tetrahedron 1995, 51, 5979; Ishiguro, Y. et al. Tetrahedron Lett. 2010, 51, 4023; [3] Kimber, M. C. et al. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 6327;

Email Now

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs