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Synthesis of new types of nanoparticles and their antimicrobial resistance


Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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Dr Antonios Kanaras No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisor: Prof. Antonios Kanaras (Physics)
Co-supervisor Prof Myron Christodoulides (Medicine)

Project description

Background:
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the most serious threats globally with more than 25,000 patients dying in the EU/UK annually, and it is predicted that AMR bacteria will kill >10 million people by 2050. Economically, the loss to global GDP is predicted to be > £5 trillion over the next 40 years.

Recently, the use of nanoparticles has been suggested as an approach to fight pathogens. Nanoparticles possess several advantages: i) the choice of nanoparticle surface coating can be chemically altered to provide target specificity, drug delivery and higher reactivity with site-specificity; ii) nanoparticle properties can be enriched according to the chemical composition of the core (e.g. magnetic, optical and redox, etc.); iii) there is compelling evidence that some types of metal nanoparticles can kill bacteria by various mechanistic pathways such as the generation of free radicals following an external stimulus (e.g. light), by the release of metal ions, and through the highly reactive organic shell at the local microenvironment.

The main objective of this project will be to synthesize and test new types of nanoparticles that target and kill pathogens that they are in the ‘priority list’ of the World Health Organization. The Kanaras group (http://www.licn.phys.soton.ac.uk/) has an international reputation and expertise in nanoparticle functionalization and nanoparticle-cell interactions. Recently, the group has developed chemical protocols to synthesize and functionalize various types of nanoparticles with bioactive molecules such as peptides, proteins and DNA, which possess multi-tasking roles such as selective sensing and killing of cancer cells, inhibition of angiogenesis, and enhanced skin penetration. The Christodoulides group (http://www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine/about/staff/mc4.page) is recognized internationally for its contribution to understanding the pathogenesis of bacterial infections and devising and testing strategies, including novel antimicrobials and preventative vaccines, to combat Gram-negative AMR pathogens included in the WHO list.

The successful applicant will gain multidisciplinary expertise across the areas of chemistry, physics and biology utilizing a broad range of characterization techniques
If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof. Antonios Kanaras, QLM Research Group, Email: [Email Address Removed] Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2466.

Entry Requirements
Entry Requirements
A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences “PhD Physics (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Antonios Kanaras under the Topic or Field of Research.

Applications should include:
Research Proposal (optional)
Curriculum Vitae
Names of two academic referees
Degree Transcripts to date
Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

For further information please contact: [Email Address Removed]

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