Humans have been fighting viruses throughout history, from smallpox, Ebola, HIV to SARS, MERS and Zika, which have costed billions of lives and made severe socio-economic impacts irreversibly. Amid the unprecedented COVID-19 global crisis, it has now never been more imperative and urgent to search and develop cost-effective, eco-friendly and broad-spectrum antiviral agents. The least-developed, low income and developing countries have been long struggling to fight viruses because of insufficient financial support, weak healthcare system, and poor health-related infrastructure. There is always a huge demand for affordable and efficient solutions of virus prevention/treatment. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this need has become more desperate and imperative.
Nanotechnology has already revolutionised our lives, greatly redefining many biomedical/pharmaceutical fields such as diagnosis, therapeutics, drug delivery, and formulation. Nanoscale materials have emerged as novel antiviral agents for the possibilities offered by their unique physico-chemical properties.
This PhD project offers an exciting opportunity for the student to join an interdisciplinary research group, aiming to design, fabricate, evaluate and develop multifunctional carbon-based nanomaterials which could be applied as cost-effective and eco-friendly antiviral agents with a potential of broad-spectrum activity. The related antiviral mechanisms will further be explored.
Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or a closely related discipline. Students who have a 2.2 honours degree and a Master’s degree may also be considered, but the School reserves the right to shortlist for interview only those applicants who have demonstrated high academic attainment to date.
The project is multidisciplinary and transnational, and it involves researchers and international collaborators with expertise of nanomedicine, material science, pharmaceutical/biomedical engineering, immunology, and virology. The student will be working with a highly dynamic and interdisciplinary research team.