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Advanced Synthesis and Manufacturing of RNA Based Gene Regulating Therapies


Project Description

There now exists a broad consensus that RNA based gene inference techniques such as Anti-Sense Oligonucleotides, siRNA, MicroRNA and RNA guided gene editing techniques such as CRISPR-CAS system represent the third major therapeutic modality in pharmaceuticals. While the applications and understanding of the underlying biology of these systems for use as therapeutic platforms have advanced rapidly, little change in the commercial synthesis of these compounds have occurred in decades. This project aims to reshape their synthesis and manufacturing with a focus on compatibility with large scale therapeutic supply.

The position offers the opportunity to direct RNA synthesis as part of an interdisciplinary team of Chemists, Engineers and Pharmaceutical Scientists at the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Cluster (SSPC) in University College Dublin. The student will work under the supervision of Dr Steven Ferguson and should have an honours level B.Sc./M.Sc. in Chemistry or equivalent. As part of a multi-disciplinary team the student will utilize new advanced reactor and separation technology in development at the SSPC in UCD for synthesis of these exciting new therapeutic modalities. The student will collaborate further on development of new reactor designs and will have the opportunity to build upon their qualification in chemistry but also to acquire chemical engineering expertise over the course of the PhD program in Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering.

The successful candidate will form part of a multidisciplinary research team working within the Ferguson Group and SSPC Pharmaceutical Research Centre, in the UCD O’Brien Science Centre, focussed on the development of novel technologies centred on the synthesis, purification and delivery of pharmaceuticals.

Funding Notes

Applications and enquiries should be directed to Dr. Steven Ferguson at the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin, Ireland (). The stipend for this position will be €18,500 + full EU or non-EU fees paid for 4 years.

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