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Precise, peptide-directed loading of drugs onto therapeutic antibodies for targeted imaging and treatment of tumors.


Department of Chemistry

About the Project

The PhD project aims to develop a non-covalent technology for loading small molecules and therapeutic enzymes onto monoclonal antibodies thus addressing issues in preparations of antibody-drug conjugates, such as poor yields and non-specific conjugation of the drugs resulting in compromised immunoaffinity. Off-target activity of anticancer chemotherapy is the cause of harmful side effects, limiting patient tolerance to treatment. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are ‘magic bullets’ that provide specific targeting for traditional chemotherapy drugs. Yet, ADCs synthesis relies on chemical conjugation of “molecular” drugs to specific regions of a large antibody. This has 2 major drawbacks: poor yields due to large variety of chemically reactive aminoacids present in the antibody, and non-specific conjugation of drugs to antibodies resulting in compromised immunoaffinity.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed student to engineer a new biotechnology to form orthogonal and specific complexes between chemotherapy drugs and antibodies. You will be trained in protein design, molecular biology and biophysical chemistry techniques to characterise protein structure and protein-protein interactions, alongside fluorescence microscopy imaging to test the functionality of your designs on cancer cell lines.

Your findings will have major impact on the biological drugs development. The knowledge generated will translate in novel approaches to diagnose and treat cancer.

If you hold a 2.1 honours masters level degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or equivalent and are interested in developing new drug-like biomolecules, please get in touch with Dr Ciani ().

**This is a self-funded project**

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project.

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