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PhD in Chemistry: Novel drug carriers based on an amylose-mimicking polymer

Project Description

We are recruiting a PhD student in polymer/synthetic organic chemistry for a start in October 2020 under the joint supervision of Dr. Bernhard Schmidt and Dr. Joëlle Prunet.

The Schmidt group is active in the area of polymer chemistry with a focus on controlled polymerization for the synthesis of polymer hybrid materials and polymers for self-assembly with the target of catalytic and biomedical applications. More information can be found at:

Research in the Prunet group is focused on the synthesis of bioactive molecules and the development of new synthetic organic methodologies, as well as the post-polymerisation functionalisation of very diverse polymers using olefin metathesis. For more details, you can consult the following webpage:

The proposed project aims at developing new drug carriers. Drug delivery is a challenging area in biomedical research, with vast potential to transform medicine. Some of the most widely prescribed anticancer drugs suffer from poor solubility and/or nonspecific toxicity, causing severe side effects to patients. Polymer-based drug carriers belong to the most promising materials to bypass these problems inherent to chemotherapy. The successful applicant will synthesise block copolymers from a novel type of hydrophilic polymer that mimics the structure of amylose (developed in the Prunet group) together with common biocompatible and biodegradable hydrophobic polymers such as poly(lactic acid). These structures will be utilised to encapsulate various molecules and their release probed with respect to the environment (pH, salt concentration, redox state, sugar concentration). The new polymers will then be tested for cell compatibility with our collaborators, the Riehle group, in the Institute for Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Glasgow.

The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. The School of Chemistry is located on the University’s main campus in the cosmopolitan West End of Glasgow.

Interested parties should contact Dr. Bernhard Schmidt ()
and Dr. Joëlle Prunet () before applying.

(Standard Text Added to Description)
It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.

As an Athena SWAN Bronze Award holder, the School of Chemistry has equality, diversity and inclusion at its heart, and actively supports applications from all sections of society.

More details of the School’s Athena SWAN activities can be found here:

How to Apply: Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:

Start Date 01/10/2020

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK applicants for 3.5 years, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (estimated £15,245 for Session 2020-21).

Applicants must hold (or expect to hold by the start date) a 1st or upper 2nd class MSC/MChem/BSc or equivalent in a relevant discipline (chemistry, materials...). Knowledge of polymer chemistry is not necessary but would be an advantage

How good is research at University of Glasgow in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of Strathclyde)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 30.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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