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Carbohydrate analysis for biomedical applications.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Changes in the patterns of carbohydrates produced by the cell can provide insights into disease states, revealing perturbations and differences in cellular metabolic processes. As such, changes in the distribution of such species can be used as biomarkers for differential diagnosis and prognosis of disease. The derivatisation of reducing carbohydrates isolated from cells and proteins has been used extensively to enable their analysis by HPLC-fluorescence detection. This method of profiling is also important for quality control in the industrial production of modern biopharmaceuticals and, is often coupled with other analytical workflows (such as mass spectrometry) to provide further information about carbohydrate structures. In this project, we seek to develop and evaluate novel small molecule fluorescent labels for glycan analysis which exhibit good properties in the separation system and methods used for structural analysis, whilst enabling labelled sugars to be used later for diagnostics applications.

This highly interdisciplinary project will allow students to develop laboratory skills in: organic synthesis, analytical sciences, recombinant protein expression, mammalian cell biology and a wide variety of biological assay techniques. As a laboratory, we work closely with partners in the chemical industry and biotechnology sector, as well as academic partners in both chemical and biomedical sciences. We are committed to supporting the development of our personnel both during and beyond the doctorate, and will additionally provide extensive training in areas such as technical writing, collaborative working, research management, presentation skills and networking.

Within the School we offer state-of-the-art analytical facilities through the Chemical Analysis Facility ( These facilities include: 700 and 500 MHz NMR spectrometers; single crystal, powder and small angle X-ray diffractometry; molecular spectroscopy (Raman, UV/Vis, IR and fluorescence); gas- and liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS and LC-MS); thermal analysis (DSC and TGA) and analytical microscopy.

Funding Notes

If you hold your own funding and are interested in joining us, please get in touch. If you wish to apply for funding to work with us and have identified a suitable scheme, please contact us detailing your interest - we may be able to assist you with applications for funding. We are committed to supporting flexible and part-time working patterns so if you have such requirements, please also get in contact.

Applicants should hold (or expect to gain) a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, pharmacology, or related disciplines.

How good is research at University of Reading in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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