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Transition metal complexes making light of cancer


   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof Jim A Thomas  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world. Although existing chemotherapy regimens are often successful in curing many common cancers, they frequently cause serious and unwanted side-effects. Cancers can also develop resistance to chemotherapy. One potential solution to both these problems is photodynamic therapy, PDT. In PDT a “photosensitizer”, which is activated by light, is used to treat cancer. As the photosensitizer only works when irradiated by intense laser light this therapy can be highly targeted to a treatment area and thus reduce side-effects. Because of the way PDT works resistance of cancer to this therapeutic regime is usually very low. The problem with PDT is that the light usually used to activate PDT does not penetrate very deeply into tissue.

We have developed metal complexes that can be activated much deeper into cancer tissue and can be used to treat highly aggressive skin cancer.  See this press release for more details:

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/new-compound-discovery-improve-skin-cancer-treatment-chemistry-1.882582

In this project you will develop new multifunctional “theranostics” that both diagnose and identify cancers but also treat them through novel mechanisms that will function deep in cancer tumours. This multidisciplinary project will provide experience and training in both organic and inorganic synthesis, and a range of cell biology skills, including various forms of state-of-the-art microscopy.

Applications should be made via the online application portal:

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgradapplication/


Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project. You should have or expect to gain at least an upper second-class Mchem or Masters degree, or equivalent, in a relevant subject.
If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work with this supervisor will be considered.
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