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Solving the issue of poor drug solubility: green synthesis of ionic liquid-based pharmaceutical materials


   School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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  Prof Lidia Tajber  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Many therapeutic agents, the essential part of medicines, are often not fully effective in patients. Therefore, such actives are unable to reach the required therapeutic destination sites, i.e. are not bioavailable. Considering that many currently developed active molecules suffer from inadequate solubility, there is a definite need for smart medicine approaches to make those drugs bioavailable, but also to ensure that those methods are sustainable and environmentally friendly.

This project proposes a new way of dealing with the problematic drug molecules by combining them with another, harmless compound in an environmentally friendly manner to improve solubility. Such a combination is called an ionic liquid and is deemed as a novel and sustainable method of solving issues with pharmaceutical compounds. This ionic liquid will then be incorporated into a medicine using a solvent-free process. As a result, the dose of the drug contained in medication can be decreased, therapeutic efficiency increased and overall, the quality of medication improved. This project will also assess how more economical and eco-friendlier the overall approach taken is in comparison to traditional methods and if it can be adopted by the pharmaceutical industry to make our lives better and more sustainable.

This project will be conducted in collaboration with the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals (https://sspc.ie/) and the European COST Action CA18112 (Mechanochemistry for Sustainable Industry, https://www.mechsustind.eu/).

Qualifications/Specifications

Essential: at least a 2.1 honors degree (or equivalent) in pharmacy, chemistry, pharmaceutical/material sciences, chemical engineering, physics or a related discipline. Proficiency in the English language/a satisfactory English Language Competency Certificate for candidates who do not have English as a first language.

The candidate must be available to start their research on 1st September 2021. They should have an aptitude/strong interest in pharmaceutics research and be highly motivated. They should also have an ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.  

Standard Duties and Responsibilities of the Post

The PhD student will carry out high quality research as part of the requirements for a PhD. They will also engage in the structured component of the degree, as required by the university. The student will be involved in a range of training, education and public engagement activities. In addition, the student will be required to attend regular meetings with the supervisor and the group, attend other research meetings, write reports, communicate and disseminate information/research findings at conferences and publish research findings. Also, they will be expected to carry out demonstration in practical labs to undergraduate pharmacy students.

Application Procedure

Applicants should submit a full Curriculum Vitae including the names and contact details of 2 referees (including email addresses) as well as a cover letter outlining their motivation to pursue this research and including relevant experience to:

Prof. Lidia Tajber, [Email Address Removed]

Applications must include “Provost Award PhD Studentship” in the subject line. Application deadline: 12 Noon (GMT), 10th May 2021.


Funding Notes

The funding covers the fees (EU/non-EU) and a €17,316 annual stipend
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