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Towards designing novel therapeutics for targeting neglected tropical diseases

   School of Chemistry

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  Dr G R Stephenson  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This exciting PhD opportunity at the interface of chemistry, medicine and biology is offered as part of the UEA Open Lab Africa project. Techniques of synthetic organic chemistry and computer-aided drug design will be combined to develop bioactive natural products from sub-Saharan Africa (sSA) into advanced lead compounds for medicinal chemistry. There will be opportunities to collaborate with scientists in Africa and other research groups at UEA to gain experience with bioassays and structure activity relationship studies, with the main part of this co-supervised research conducted in one of the synthetic organic chemistry laboratories in the School of Chemistry supported by access to excellent high-field NMR spectrometers for compound characterisation. The project will open the way to careers in medicinal chemistry, not just in sSA but world-wide in major international pharmaceutical companies. It will also accelerate research efforts in sSA to address the terrible problems faced locally with NTDs, in a field where UEA is sharing its resources with less well-equipped African laboratories. This international and interdisciplinary dimension should make this a very satisfying period of research; it is an opportunity to join a project that could make a significant difference in the world. 

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at
A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) Moifo-Kuete, Thomas W.; Ambassa, Pantaleon; Moungang, Luciane M., Ngameni, Bathelemy; Storr, Thomas E.; Ngadjui, Tchaleu. B.; Stephenson, G. Richard, (‒)-Brunneusine, a new phenolic compound with antibacterial properties in aqueous medium from the leaves of Agelanthus brunneus (Engl.) Tiegh (LORANTHACEAE). Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C (2021) accepted for publication (doi/10.1515/znc-2021-0143).
ii) Fotso, Ghislain W.; Ngameni, Bathelemy.; Storr, Thomas E.; Ngadjui, Bonaventure T.; Mafu, Sibongile.; Stephenson, G. Richard. Synthesis of novel stilbene-coumarins derivatives, and antifungal screening of Monotes kerstingii specialized metabolites against Fusarium oxysporum. Antibiotics (2020), 9, 537, 1-13 (doi:10.3390/antibiotics9090537).
iii) Steverding, Dietmar; Sidjui, Lazare S.; Ferreira, Éden R.; Ngamen, Bathelemy; Folefoc, Gabriel N.; Mahiou-Leddet, Valérie; Ollivier, Evelyne; Stephenson, G. Richard; Storr, Thomas E.; Tyler, Kevin M., Trypanocidal and Leishmanicidal Activity of six Limonoids. J. Natural Medicines (2020) 74, 606–611 (DOI: 10.1007/s11418-020-01408-7).
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