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Supramolecular sensors for imaging biological substrates


School of Chemistry

About the Project

The development of selective supramolecular sensors that undergo a macroscopic, detectable response upon binding a particular substrate is an intense area of interest. For example, in medicine these sensors may enable the detection and imaging of neurotransmitters, a class of small organic molecules that act as markers for diseases such as Parkinson’s. An understanding of their role in biological processes is a key challenge in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Therefore, the aim of this PhD project is to develop a new range of supramolecular sensors, based on fluorescent macrocycles, for the cutting-edge multi-modal imaging of these important biological targets.

The researcher will develop skills in molecular synthesis, analytical techniques associated with supramolecular chemistry and a variety of different spectroscopies. This is a highly interdisciplinary project so the candidate will also receive training in medical imaging techniques such as NIR fluorescence and MRI and the opportunity to travel for biological sample testing in vivo/vitro through collaborations both inside and outside the School of Chemistry.
Candidates should be creative, curious and motivated, with an interest in supramolecular chemistry and photochemistry, although no formal experience in these areas is required. By the start of their appointment, applicants should have obtained a strong Master’s degree in Chemistry and not be in possession of a PhD.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with Tim for more information using the details below. Scholarships may be available for suitably qualified candidates.

The School of Chemistry is keen to achieve a gender and diversity balance across the School and welcome applicants from all backgrounds. The School holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises its work in promoting women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in higher education.

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