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Advanced NMR Methods for Complex Mixture Analysis Driven by Industrial Challenges


Project Description

Reliable characterisation of active pharmaceutical ingredients is key to understanding the properties of drug formulations. In particular, assessing purity at various stages in production is essential, as it is a requirement that low-level impurities need to be identified and characterised in order for a new drug to receive regulatory approval. NMR spectroscopy is a powerful tool for structural analysis of pure compounds. However, current NMR methods struggle to extract the required information in a straightforward and reliable manner from complex mixtures.

This studentship will focus on the development and application of advanced NMR methods that maximise our ability to identify and characterise low-level species present in mixtures. Throughout the project, methodological developments will proceed hand-in-hand with application to pharmaceutical formulations, where regulatory requirements make it necessary to quantify and characterise species present above 0.1%. Challenging problems encountered by Johnson Matthey business units will be used to critically assess the industrial utility of the new methods, stimulating further technological developments.

This in an Industrial CASE studentship funded by EPSRC and Johnson Matthey. The student will be based in the NMR Methodology Group at the University of Manchester with placements at Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (JMTC). This project will provide access for an outstanding PhD student to a first-rate, challenging research training experience, within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academia and industry. The student will use world-class research facilities in the Department of Chemistry and at JMTC, including cutting-edge chemical characterisation instrumentation. This PhD project will provide extensive training in a range of industrially focused research methods, allowing the student to acquire a broad set of skills in practical NMR spectroscopy, spin physics, statistical data analysis, software production and scientific programming, and can be tailored to suit individual preferences.

Academic background of candidates:
Applicants are expected to hold, or be about to obtain, a first class or good upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a subject closely related to Chemistry, Physics, or Materials Science. Some prior experience with NMR spectroscopy is advantageous but not essential.

Contact for further Information:
For enquiries about the project please email to Dr Laura Castañar Acedo


Further information

NMR Methodology group web-site - https://nmr.chemistry.manchester.ac.uk/
Johnson Matthey website - https://matthey.com/en
iCASE - https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/industrial-case/intro/

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year EPSRC iCASE studentship with Johnson Matthey. Funding will cover fees and stipend (£16,200 in 2019-20)

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants.

We expect the programme to commence in September 2020

References

- G. Dal Poggetto, L. Castañar, R. W. Adams, G. A. Morris, M. Nilsson. "Dissect and divide: putting NMR spectra of mixtures under the knife". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 5766-5771.

- P. Moutzouri, P. Kiraly, A. R. Phillips, S. R. Coombes, M. Nilsson, G. A. Morris. "13C Satellite-Free 1H NMR Spectra". Anal. Chem. 2017, 89, 11898-11901.

- G. Dal Poggetto, L. Castañar, R. W. Adams, G. A. Morris, M. Nilsson. "Relaxation-encoded NMR experiments for mixture analysis: REST and beer". Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 7461-7464.

- P. Moutzouri, Y. Chen, M. Foroozandeh, P. Kiraly, A. R. Phillips, S. R. Coombes, M. Nilsson, G. A. Morris. "Ultraclean pure shift NMR". Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 10188-10191.

- M. Foroozandeh, L. Castañar, L. G. Martins, D. Sinnaeve, G. Dal Poggetto, C. F. Tormena, R. W. Adams, G. A. Morris, M. Nilsson. "Ultrahigh-Resolution Diffusion-Ordered Spectroscopy". Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 15579-15582.

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