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Metal-based DNA Hybrid Nanomaterials

   Birmingham and Melbourne Joint PhDs

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  Prof J Tucker  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Birmingham United Kingdom Analytical Chemistry Synthetic Chemistry

About the Project

By combining the programmability of natural biopolymers such as DNA with the robustness and functionality of synthetic systems, next-generation hybrid polymers inspired by nature can be constructed with unprecedented features. This PhD project, involving a collaboration between the University of Melbourne (Prof Amanda Ellis) and the University of Birmingham (Prof James Tucker), involves the design and construction of metal-containing DNA hybrid materials that display novel redox properties for a variety of biomedical applications.

The student will synthesise monomeric DNA-based components and then polymerise them into new DNA-hybrid nanomaterials. He/she will study their properties using a range of spectroscopic and analytical methods and become proficient in a range of techniques including: small molecule synthesis; DNA and polymer synthesis and characterisation; spectroscopy (e.g. UV/vis and CD); electrophoresis; electrochemistry. He/she will have an interest in or experience of one or more of the following topics: synthetic chemistry, self-assembly, polymer chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, biochemistry or chemical biology, analytical chemistry. 

Interested candidates should contact Prof Amanda Ellis or Prof Jim Tucker in the first instance by email, attaching an up-to-date CV.

Prof Jim Tucker can be contacted via [Email Address Removed].

Funding Notes

A fully-funded studentship, which includes tax-free Doctoral Stipend of £15,609* per annum, tuition fees and provision for a return trip to Birmingham/Melbourne is available for Home/EU and Overseas students on this Joint PhD programme between the University of Birmingham and the University of Melbourne for October 2021 start.
*subject to inflationary variation, with a comparable rate for students who are to be hosted by the University of Melbourne.


1) Opportunities and Challenges in DNA-Hybrid Nanomaterials, S.I.S. Hendrikse, S.L. Gras, and A.V. Ellis, ACS Nano, 2019, 13, 8512−8516,
2) Macrocyclic Metal Complex-DNA Conjugates for Electrochemical Sensing of Single Nucleobase Changes in DNA, J.L.H.A. Duprey, J. Carr-Smith, S.L. Horswell, J. Kowalski, J.H.R. Tucker, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138, 746-749,
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