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Combined use of in-vitro and in-silico models for drug discovery

Project Description

This project is one of 16 four year PhD Studentships funded by Medical Research Scotland ( to be delivered jointly by the named University and External Partner Organisation (EPO). The Studentship will provide the first-class academic and additional training provided by the EPO needed to equip the successful candidate for a science career in an increasingly competitive market.

"Combined use of in-vitro and in-silico models for drug discovery" to be delivered by the University of Strathclyde [Supervisors: Dr Ibrahim Khadra and Professor Gavin Halbert (Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences)] and Shimadzu UK Ltd ( [Company supervisor: Mr Stuart Phillips].

80% of current marketed medication is in oral form however many newly identified medications fail to make it to the market due to low solubility and issues with movement of the drug through the intestinal tract and subsequent effects which is an inefficient use of time and resources. Our work is centred around understanding the relationship between the gut and the behaviour of the drug within the body. Previous research within our group has concentrated on developing a media that is representative of that of the gut and this study aims to expand this work by understanding the media variability and its effect on the drug solubility. This data will be incorporated into a model that will predict the drug performance within the body and any challenges it may present at early drug development stages prior to market. Any challenges that are identified could be overcome through formulation adaptations. This project will aim to support development of medical technologies by improvement of future medications through enhanced understanding of the GI tract and drug absorption and its relationship to disease status and subsequent possible modification of drug formulation.

Enquiries should be sent by email to Professor Dr Ibrahim Khadra:

Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK, in an appropriate scientific discipline.

Applicants should send a CV, the contact details of 2 referees (including email addresses) and a covering letter, explaining why the applicant wishes to carry out this project all in a single pdf document, by email to Dr Ibrahim Khadra:

Please note, your application may be shared with the funders of this PhD Studentship, Medical Research Scotland and Shimadzu UK Ltd.

Interviews are expected to take place 3-4 weeks after the closing date for applications. In light of the current coronavirus situation, interviews may be conducted by video conference.

It is anticipated that the PhD Studentship will start in October 2020.

Funding Notes

PhD Studentship provides: an annual tax-free stipend of £17,500, increasing to £18,000 over the four years; tuition fees at UK/EU rates only; consumables; and generous travel allowance. International fees are not covered.


(1) I. Khadra et al. Statistical investigation of simulated intestinal fluid composition on the equilibrium solubility of biopharmaceutics classification system class II drugs. European Journal of Pharmaceutical sciences, 67 (2015) 65-75.
(2) Z. Zhou et al. Statistical investigation of simulated fed intestinal media composition on the equilibrium solubility of oral drugs 99 (2017) 95-104.
(3) J. Perrier et al. Statistical investigation of the full concentration range of fasted and fed simulated intestinal fluid on the equilibrium solubility of oral drugs. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol 111, 2018, 247-256.
(4) C. Dunn et al. Topography of simulated intestinal equilibrium solubility. Mol. Pharmaceutics, 2019, 16, 5, 1890-1905

Related Subjects

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 74.30

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

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