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Cationic antimicrobial peptides as anticancer agents

  • Full or part time
    Dr R Green
    Prof R A Frazier
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Cationic peptides are widespread in nature where they play a key role in host defense within plants and animals. The mechanism by which these peptides interact with cell membranes potentially leads to these being less prone to antimicrobial resistance than conventional antibiotics. In addition, antimicrobial cationic peptides can be selective to different types of biological membrane, including bacterial, fungal and cancer. However, it is currently not clear how mechanism of action and peptide structural features link to cell selectivity. This project focuses on their potential as anticancer agents and looks to identify how cell membrane lipid composition acts to promote peptide interaction.

The aim of the project is to identify peptides with selectivity towards cancer cells and provide a targeted delivery system, via the use of polymer drug carriers, that will enable peptide to remain stable until reaching the site of action. The project will provide training in a variety of methodologies including cell culture methods and biological assays, and surface analytical, spectroscopic and thermodynamic methods to identify mechanism of action and structural parameters at the peptide-lipid interface. The project will also provide the student with experience and training within large-scale research facilities to access neutron reflectometry instruments.

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold, or expect to shortly gain, a 2(i) or better degree in a related discipline

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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