Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Bournemouth University Featured PhD Programmes

Development of a multicomponent, targeted gene delivery platform

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 01, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Gene delivery systems are important tools in biological research and offer many exciting future prospects. Delivering gene material is very difficult in practice: rapid deterioration, poor cell uptake, and reaching the right tissue and cell types are major obstacles. Ways to overcome each barrier individually have been suggested in existing research but these components have not yet been combined into a single solution, which this project will tackle. The project will create a gene delivery technology to stabilize and deliver active gene material (e.g. RNA interference, CRISPR and DNA) to target cells (e.g. tumours) based on successful preliminary data generated by our laboratories. The technology will be widely applicable and superior to current gene delivery tools; can be used for in vitro and/or in vivo applications; and will greatly advance biological research with many potential future applications (e.g. genome editing, basic research and drug development).

This project is multidisciplinary in nature, and will provide the student with an excellent grounding in peptide synthesis, purification and characterization, using advanced automated synthetic robots; as well as cutting-edge formulation approaches to improve the stability and capacity to translate these systems towards animal and/or human applications; and an advanced understanding of biological models for assessing and optimizing these systems for gene expression, knockdown and editing.

Funding Notes

Applicants with a background in science, including health sciences (e.g. pharmacy) and other applied sciences are suitable to apply. Desirable (non-essential) candidate characteristics include: An understanding of cell biology, and the processes involved in gene expression, Experience with cell culture, Western blotting, flow cytometry and/or imaging, Formulation experience, in particular the development of liposomal formulations and means to stabilize these for in vivo applications, Candidates do not need to meet all of the above characteristics to apply.

References

Begum AA, et al. Bombesin/oligoarginine fusion peptides for gastrin releasing peptide receptor (GRPR) targeted gene delivery. Bioorg Med Chem 2018;26(2):516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2017.12.013

Wan Y, et al. Multifunctional peptide-lipid nanocomplexes for efficient targeted delivery of DNA and siRNA into breast cancer cells. Acta Biomaterialia 2017;59:257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2017.06.032

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