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Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Analogues of the Bioactive Natural Products, Incarviditone and Incarvilleatone


   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr R Whitehead, Dr K Finegan, Dr Richard Bryce  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The polyclic natural products incarviditone and incarvilleatone have recently attracted attention due to their synthetically challenging structures as well as their interesting biological properties. Recent investigations by our research group have resulted in the development of expedient synthetic approaches to novel analogues of both series of natural products. Importantly, biological investigations have demonstrated that a number of these analogues show potent anti-proliferative activity towards a range of different cancer cell lines. At this time, however, their mechanism of biological activity remains unknown.

Using a combination of computational modelling and synthetic organic chemistry, the initial goal of this project will be to generate a small library of novel analogues with improved activity towards cancer cell lines of interest. In depth biochemical analysis will then be carried out in order to discover the cellular target of the compounds. Once this is known, the sequence of computational modelling, organic synthesis and biological assessment will be repeated in order to generate structurally novel compounds with optimised biological properties.

Academic background of candidates

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or the overseas equivalent) in Biological and/or Medicinal Chemistry or a related area.  Candidates with experience in contemporary organic synthesis and with an interest in computational modelling and/or cell biology are encouraged to apply. 

Contact for further Information

Dr Roger Whitehead    [Email Address Removed]


Funding Notes

This is a PhD project for students with their own funding/scholarship in place. The fees are £32,000 GBP per annum for Overseas students, and £11,000 GBP per annum for Home students, in 2022-23.

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