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New synthetic methodology developments for innovations in antibody drug conjugate (ADC) linker design


   School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The project will develop new synthetic methodologies for the overall aim of delivering novel chemical linkers for ADCs. This is a collaboration with AstraZeneca scientists who are world-leaders in ADC technology.

ADCs are innovative biopharmaceutical drugs that combine the cancer cell-targeting ability of antibodies with highly potent anti-cancer agents, joined via a chemical linker. Upon specific binding of the antibody to a cancer cell, the chemical linker self-destructs and thereby releases the cyctotoxic agent into the targeted cells. This high tumour selectivity results in limited systemic exposure, a severe side effect commonly observed with standard chemotherapeutic agents. There are eleven ADCs on the market, however applications are currently limited by physicochemical properties of the linker.

Synthetic work will be conducted in the Chemistry Department at QMUL, split between the Jones and Arseniyadis labs. The PhD student will also undertake a 3-6 month research placement at AstraZeneca.

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr Chris Jones or Dr Stellios Arseniyadis

Tel: 020 7882 6631 (CJ) or 020 7882 8445 (SA)

E-mail: or

Application Method:

To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Chemistry programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Further Guidance: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/

Deadline for applications: The project will start in late September 2022. As such, all suitable applicants will be interviewed soon after receiving the application. The post will close once a suitable applicant has been identified.


Funding Notes

• Applicant required to start in September 2022.
• The studentship arrangement will cover home tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set for 2021/22 as £17,609).
• The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
• Please note that this studentship is only available to Home applicants. (See: View Website for details)

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