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PhD project -Design, Development and Pharmacological Evaluation of a Novel Bioactive Benzocycloalkanone Scaffold

   Graduate Research School Office

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  Dr Tao Zhang  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The benzocycloalkanone ring system is an attractive scaffold for pharmaceutical/medicinal scientists, combining aromatic and aliphatic properties in a rigid bicyclic structure system. Such system offers some ten potential substitution sites and the ability to design, by substitution, a ‘perfect fit’ model generating high-affinity ligands targeted at a range of proteins to address several significant disease states including inflammatory conditions, central nervous system disorders and cancers, etc. There are a variety of elaborated benzocycloalkanone scaffolds in clinical use, amongst those are an integral part of some natural products such as Colchicines, Brussonol, Feveline, Bussealin-E and Theaflavin. This project is focused on developing a new class of bioactive benzocycloalkanone compounds with a benzosuberan skeleton possessing potential anti-cancer activities. The project will be involved with novel molecule design, synthesis and structure characterisation, followed by the binding affinity investigation of the novel molecules with the selected molecular targets by computational technique, in vitro anti-cancer activity evaluation against chosen cancer cell lines. 

Student Requirements for this Project

Essential: A minimum 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in (Medicinal) Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biological Sciences or a related discipline. Candidates whose first language is not English must demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language. 

The candidate needs to have a strong interest in drug discovery research and be highly self-motivated. The candidate should also have an ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary research team. 

Responsibilities: the PhD student is expected to carry out high quality research and need to engage in the structured component of the degree, as required by the university. In addition, the PhD student will be involved in a range of training, education and public engagement activities. Further, the student will be required to attend regular meetings with the supervisor(s) and other research meetings/seminars, write reports, communicate and disseminate the research at conferences and in international journals. The student will also be expected to carry out undergraduate students laboratory practical demonstrations. 

School of Food Science and Environmental Health

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If you are interested in submitting an application for this project, please complete an Expression of Interest available here:

Funding Notes

Funding details
Student Stipend per annum € 18,500
Materials & Travel Budget per annum € 2600
Fees covered by the funding per annum € 4500 (EU) or 9000 (non-EU)
Funding available for 4 years
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