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Luminescent Anion Receptors for Imaging of Nucleoside Phosphates in Living Cells

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, July 01, 2019
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

This PhD project involves the synthesis of luminescent receptors for the detection of biologically important anions. These molecules will be applied to monitoring enzyme reactions in real-time, and visualising biochemical processes in living cells. We will explore how changes to the structure and geometry of the receptor affect anion binding affinity, selectivity and luminescence response. Strategies for increasing cellular uptake of the receptors will be examined, by selective tagging of cell permeable peptides, which may promote localisation to specific cellular compartments.

This project is multi-disciplinary in nature, covering the areas of synthetic supramolecular chemistry, chemical biology and bioanalytical chemistry. The student will be trained in organic synthesis, solid-phase peptide synthesis, HPLC purification. Additionally, they will study the anion-binding properties of the synthesised receptors using a range of spectroscopic techniques, including UV/vis, fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy. The student will gain experience in cellular imaging and enzyme assays.!divAbstract

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry.

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: organic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, chemical biology, spectroscopy, analytical chemistry.

Preferred start date of 01/10/2019.

All candidates are required to submit a project proposal with their application. Applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Department of Chemistry.

Please quote reference number: CM/SJB-Un1/2019

Funding Notes

The project is open to anyone from around the world who can bring their own funding, whether self-funded or from a scholarship. The candidate should have a good undergraduate degree in chemistry, ideally with experience in one or more of the following: organic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, chemical biology, spectroscopy, analytical chemistry.

UK/EU Fee band: TBC
International Fee band: £21,100


1. Romain Mailhot, Thomas Traviss-Pollard, Robert Pal and Stephen J. Butler, Chem. Eur. J., 2018, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201801008

2. Sarah H. Hewitt, Jonathan Parris, Romain Mailhot and Stephen J. Butler, Chem. Commun., 2017, 53, 12626-12629.

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