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PhD Studentship in “Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of New Chemical Entities from Morphine”

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Closing Date: Open until filled

Department: GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratories for Sustainable Chemistry (School of Chemistry)

Supervisor: Professor Hon Wai Lam
Subject area: Organic chemistry/synthesis and biological chemistry
Start date: January 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter

Research Description

Opiates are important medicines used to treat pain and other disorders because of their action on the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Opiates are produced from raw materials obtained from the poppy plant (papaver somniferum), and this 3-year PhD studentship is concerned with the development of new synthetic strategies and reactions to prepare important advanced intermediates, to increase overall synthetic efficiency. While they are useful in treating pain, many opiates have strong side effects that include addiction, respiratory depression, sedation, and constipation. Therefore, another aspect of this project is the synthesis of novel opiates in the search for more effective compounds with fewer side effects and addictive properties. New compounds will be submitted for in vitro biological testing against the opioid receptors.

This studentship is available immediately, and is fully funded by Rusan Pharma through a stipend covering PhD tuition fees (at the Home/EU rate) and a tax-free living allowance (£14,777 per annum, increasing annually). The student will gain expertise in organic synthesis and catalysis, and acquire skills in problem solving, spectroscopic analysis and scientific communication. For informal enquiries, please contact:

For more information on the Lam research group, please visit:

How to Apply

Applications are invited from outstanding EU/UK students holding a good undergraduate degree in Chemistry. You will have experience in conducting original research in organic synthesis/biological chemistry. Please send a cover letter and CV to and also apply online by visiting

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