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Novel Platinum-Based Mitocans for the Treatment of Resistant Cancers: Synthesis, Targeted Delivery and Biological Studies


   Department of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

About the project

A four-year PhD scholarship in Medicinal Chemistry is available with an immediate start date.

In this project a new class of platinum-based cancer drugs will be developed that attack cancer cells via two distinct pathways simultaneously, DNA damage and interaction with the mitochondria. The platinum drugs will be encapsulated into a nanocarrier which will be designed to target breast cancer.

The PhD student will work in the Erxleben lab in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of Galway and

·        synthesize dual-action Pt(IV) prodrugs with antimitochondrial ligands

·        investigate the kinetics of prodrug activation

·        covalently attach the prodrugs to silk fibroin protein-based nanoparticles

·        functionalize the surface of the nanoparticles with targeting entities

·        study the physicochemical properties and drug release of the prodrug-nanoparticle conjugates

The project is a collaboration with Dr A. A. Lozano Pérez, IMIDA, Murcia, who has longstanding experience in nanochemistry and Prof. J. A. Marchal, University of Granada who has longstanding experience in cancer research and will study the biological activity of the prodrug-nanocarrier systems in vitro and in vivo. The student will have the opportunity to undertake a three-month research visit to Spain.

Requirements:  A BSc in Chemistry and an MSc in Chemistry or a related discipline with practical experience in synthesis

Application: To apply for this project email your CV, academic transcript, a cover letter and the names and contact details of two referees to


Funding Notes

Fully funded for 4 years, funding includes an annual stipend of 18,500 €, 5500 € tuition fees and a travel budget.

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