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Developing novel bioanalytical pipelines for complex medicines

   Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences

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  Dr Z Rattray, Prof Y Perrie  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Keywords: Nanomedicine; Drug Delivery; Nanoparticles; Biologics; Oligonucleotides; Bioanalysis

The field of drug delivery is a rapid growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry, which in recent decades has led to the rapid adoption of complex medicines (nanomedicines, antibody-drug conjugates, oligonucleotides) and their bench to bedside translation. Complex medicines offer huge potential to target otherwise intractable biology, while offering superior safety and efficacy profiles compared to conventional medicines. Though complex medicines offer great promise as next-generation medicines, a deeper understanding of their properties is needed to increase the chances of their translation. The aim of this studentship is to develop novel bioanalytical and in vitro tests for the high-resolution measurement of biological and nanoparticle critical quality attributes. In this project, field flow fractionation with inline detectors will be used to model antibody therapeutics and nanomedicines. The impact of manufacturing parameters on particle critical quality attributes and interactions with biological media will be investigated using advanced analytical techniques (field flow fractionation hyphenated with analytical detectors) and analysis of their cellular interactions will be performed in the Rattray group.

This project is ideally suited to highly-motivated and talented students with a keen interest in working at the interface of drug delivery and analytical disciplines. This prestigious project is a collaboration between the Rattray and Perrie laboratories situated within the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), which is also host to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Multiscale Metrology Suite for Next Generation Health Nanotechnologies.

The successful candidate will receive training on a wide range of highly desirable technical skills in the field of drug delivery, including and not limited to, formulation technologies, including the application of microfluidics, field flow fractionation, particle analysis techniques (nanoparticle tracking analysis, Dynamic/Multiangle Light Scattering), 2D/3D cell culture techniques, confocal microscopy and image analysis techniques. Additionally, the successful candidate will also benefit from a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice from the University of Strathclyde. The student will benefit from working and interacting with the staff and students in two highly-vibrant and multidisciplinary teams within the SIPBS interdisciplinary environment. The University of Strathclyde is currently ranked second for Pharmacy and Pharmacology in the UK Complete University Guide.


Applicants are expected to achieve, or possess at least a minimum 2.1 UK honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biosciences, Chemistry, or Engineering backgrounds. The applicant should be motivated new research questions as part of a wider multidisciplinary team working at the interface between formulation, analytical and biomedical sciences. Some previous experience of wet lab science in analytical methods for formulation assessment are desirable, but not required.

Please note that the studentship covers UK only fees. While non-UK applicants can apply, they need to specify in their application how they will fund the difference between UK and international fee rates.

Applicants are encouraged to send a covering letter explaining their motivation to study for this project, including their suitability for this PhD project, a full Curriculum Vitae and the names (including contact details) of at least two academic or industry-based references by email to Dr Zahra Rattray by the advertised deadline. Please note that data relating to your application may be shared with the funder of this studentship, Engineering and Physical Research Sciences to monitor Equality, Diversity and Inclusion statistics.

Interviews are expected to take place approximately 3-5 weeks after the closing date for applications. The interview will be held at the University of Strathclyde, or via teleconference if an in-person interview is not practical.

The studentship will commence on October 1st 2023.

Funding Notes

EPSRC DTP funded project- This studentship is funded for 3.5 years. The studentship will cover the tuition fee for home candidates and provide an annual tax-free stipend for living expenses. This project is supported by internal allocation of the University of Strathclyde EPSRC Doctoral Training Programme funding.
Please note that only home (UK) students will be eligible for these studentships.


1. Rattray Z et al (2013) Trends in Biotechnology, 31(8), 448-458.
2. Roces CB et al (2020) Pharmaceutics 12(11): 1095.
3. Lou G et al (2020) J Control Rel 325:370-379.
4. Anderluzzi G et al (2020) vaccines 8(2):212.

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