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ENERGY - Enhanced Nanoparticles Engineered fRom Gold for multi-modal therapY

   School of Pharmacy

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  Dr Jonathan Coulter  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The last five to ten years have seen exponential growth in the application of novel nanomedicines, attributed in part to the emergence of sophisticated analytical technologies. To date, gold nanoparticles (GNPs), predominantly spheres or rods, have demonstrated utility as efficient sensitisers to both radio- and chemotherapy in the treatment of various cancers. Furthermore, GNPs proficiently convert near infrared (NIR) light to thermal energy and can therefore act as novel photothermal agents.

This cross disciplinary project will provide the appointed PhD student the opportunity to develop expertise in the synthesis, characterisation and biological evaluation of multiple exotic GNP structures (e.g. stars, prisms, cuboids, etc.). This project has three clear aims: i) to explore the influence of GNP shape on intracellular trafficking using state-of-the-art imaging modalities; ii) to determine the impact of multiple GNP geometries on therapeutic efficacy to both X-ray and NIR radiation; iii) to uncover the as yet unknown surface chemistry of the GNPs following radiation treatment, exploring the impact of functional surface ligands on therapeutic efficacy.

Working alongside Professor Bell, Chair in Physical Chemistry and Dr Coulter, Reader in Nanotherapeutics, the diverse skill set and expertise gained during this project will provide a solid basis for future employability in both an academic or industrial environment.

Funding Notes

Postgraduate Research applicants for Pharmacy who are interested in applying for a fully funded DFE studentship must have applied to Queen’s, via the Direct Applications Portal, and submitted all required supporting documents by the closing date, which will be announced later in the Academic year.
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