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Characterising novel insecticide transport to maximise efficiency and minimize environmental impact

Institute of Chemical Biology

London United Kingdom Biochemistry Environmental Chemistry Other Plant Biology Soil Science

About the Project

One of the greatest global priorities is finding strategies that will support the supply of high quality, nutritious food for the worlds fast-growing population. One vital strand that will support this is the development of novel efficient, safe agrochemicals with low environmental impact.

The development of insecticides has been highly successful at targeting specific active protein sites, however, while there has been progress in both modelling and machine learning approaches to predicting the transport and efficacy of insecticides, these approaches are also severely hampered by lack of input characterization data relating to membrane transport.

In this project we aim to develop an integrated measurement platform that will allow rapid characterisation of the transport of insecticides across model membranes and physical barriers. This data will allow direct rapid screening and prediction of efficiency of agrochemical formulations, and we will couple this to machine learning approaches that will allow us to predict membrane transport based on specific molecular features.

By significantly expanding the developmental parameter space beyond target site identification and interactions, we anticipate that, in the future this will lead to development of insecticide formulations with lower applied concentrations, increased specificity and improved environmental performance.

This project is co-sponsored by the Institute of Chemical Biology, Imperial College London, and BASF SE. The studentship is available to start early in the new year, 2021.

Upcoming interview dates for applicants:

  • Friday 5th February 2021
  • Friday 5th March 2021
  • Friday 26th March 2021

Applicants need to apply through the Imperial College Gateway, via

Funding Notes

The awarding body for the ICB CDT studentships is the EPSRC. Students must therefore conform to the eligibility requirements laid down by the EPSRC, which in this instance means that the student must be categorized with UK fee status. All students must have a good honours degree (2.1 or above) in a physical sciences subject at MSci level (or equivalent).

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