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Enhanced Solid-State NMR of Amorphous Solid Dispersion in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Department of Chemistry

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Dr Frédéric Blanc No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
Liverpool United Kingdom Analytical Chemistry Organic Chemistry Materials Science Pharmaceutical Chemistry Physical Chemistry Synthetic Chemistry

About the Project

The PhD project in partnership with the Drug Product Development team of the global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) will focus on atomic-scale understanding of the stability of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) in amorphous solid dispersion (ASD) which is a key enabling technology in the pharmaceutical sciences to improve API bioavailability. The aim of the work is to exploit the pool of multinuclear and multidimensional NMR approaches, enhanced by hyperpolarisation and very high field, to determine API - excipient interactions, assess molecular mobility and probe API dissolution/crystallisation on a range of ASDs. The work that builds on the strong dual NMR and materials science expertise and track record of the supervisory team will enable crystallisation pathways to be determined and transform understanding of ASD stability, informing design rules for improved dissolution.

This studentship will allow a highly motivated candidate to participate in the development of ASDs and have a unique research profile across pharmaceutical sciences and NMR spectroscopy. The successful applicant will join a collaborative, international and multidisciplinary research team that will provide complete student training, skills and development, ensuring strong employability. The project is based in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, which is an international centre of excellence for the chemistry of advanced materials, with ample opportunities to work alongside the industrial partner, who have a site close to the University of Liverpool. The successful applicant will have access to state-of-the-art local NMR facilities, be able to perform experiments at world-leading large scale NMR research facilities, and expand their research vision and interest by attending (inter)national conferences.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical, Physics, Materials Science or closely related subject. The candidate should be highly motivated, curious, have competent English communication skills, computer skills and be able to work both as part of a team and independently. Project experience in NMR spectroscopy would be an advantage, but is not a prerequisite.

Applications should include a cover letter including the applicant motivation in this PhD studentship and a statement on teaching interests and commitment, a full CV, and the contact details of two academic referees and should be sent by email to Dr. Frédéric Blanc ([Email Address Removed]) indicating “NMR PhD studentship 2021” in the subject line.

For any enquiries please contact Dr. Frédéric Blanc on [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The funding for this position is from an EPSRC DTP studentship which details of eligibility are given on the EPSRC website - Only applications from candidates meeting these criteria will be considered.
Non-UK/EU nationals are not eligible for this position and applications from non-UK/EU candidates will not be considered unless you have your own funding to cover the difference between UK/EU and non-UK/EU fees (around £22,000pa).
The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. The maintenance grant is £15,285 pa for 2021/22, with the possibility of an increase for 2022/23.


For a recent literature example, see:
Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Studies of HydroxyPropylMethylCellulose Acetyl Succinate polymer, a Useful Carrier in Pharmaceutical Solid Dispersions, A. Pugliese, L. E. Hawarden, A. Abraham, M. Tobyn, F. Blanc, Magn. Reson. Chem. 2020, 1-13.
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