Recent efforts in our group have sought to selectively exploit the reactivity of a transient intermediate generated from a stable precursor for applications in synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology. This industry aligned PhD project is carried out in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline and seeks to develop new approaches capitalising on our earlier findings to use reactive intermediates of interest to our laboratories in developing novel bioconjugation reactions. These processes are of significant and escalating interest in, for example, studying target proteins in cells using labelling approaches, identifying new covalent inhibitors for proteins of disease relevance, or novel means of preparing antibody drug conjugates.
The project will appeal to applicants who have an interest and solid practical grounding in synthetic organic chemistry and are eager to apply these skills in a chemical biology setting. Applicants should have a strong upper second or first class degree, ideally with prior experience of synthetic organic chemistry in either an academic or industrial setting. Students recruited will gain broad synthetic chemistry expertise in both small molecule and biomolecule synthesis, as well as exposure to in vitro screening techniques, leaving them well placed with a skills set relevant to careers in both industry and academia alike. The project is fully funded for 4 years, however due to restrictions in the funding this is restricted to UK-only applicants.