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Design of novel inhibitors of AIM-2 for the treatment of inflammation.

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Dr Sally Freeman, Dr Andrew Leach, Prof David Brough, Dr Jack Green  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Inflammation is a contributing factor in a range of therapeutic areas including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. A cause of Inflammation is through the activation of multi-protein complexes called inflammasomes, which facilitates the release of cytokines, including IL-1b. Our research team has designed inhibitors for the NLRP3 inflammasome. In this project we focus on the design and development of novel inhibitors for the AIM-2 inflammasome, of particular relevance to the early treatment of stroke. AIM-2 binds to polyanionic DNA, therefore here we will computationally design (supervised by Dr Leach), synthesise and characterise (supervised by Dr Freeman) and evaluate in relevant biology models (collaboration with Prof Brough and Dr Green).

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in, for example, chemistry, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, medicinal chemistry, natural sciences. Candidates with experience or interest in synthesis or computational chemistry linked to drug design are encouraged to apply. 

How to Apply

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the PhD title Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences.

For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students.
This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website


T Swanton, JA Beswick, H Hammadi, L Morris, D Williams, S de Cesco, L El-Sharkawy, S Yu, J Green, JB Davis, CB Lawrence, D Brough*, S Freeman*. Selective inhibition of the K+ efflux sensitive NLRP3 pathway by Cl- channel modulation. Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 11720-11728.
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