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Vanadium N-Heterocyclic carbenes: Towards new metal-based anti-cancer agents (LORDRU20SCIEC)

Project Description

Platinum-based therapeutics dominate the clinical drug market for the treatment of cancer. And although these complexes have been crucial in the fight against cancer, they have some major drawbacks associated with their use. These include severe patient side effects due to the lack of cancer cell selectivity and a lack of treatable cancers due to increased cell resistance to platinum. Such drawbacks have lead researchers to design and test new transition metal complexes with potentially different modes of action. This research project will be fundamental in establishing new drugs for the treatment of cancer, and will address the importance of treatment costs by using cheap and abundant metals. This PhD project will incorporate all aspects of organic and inorganic synthesis, and a range of physiochemical techniques for full characterisation. We have recently investigated vanadium metal complexes as potential cancer therapeutics, and will use this metal to synthesise novel carboranyl N-heterocyclic carbene complexes. This project will also investigate the drugs’ redox potentials, and assess their ability to target tumours within reducing environments. The student will use state-of-the-art facilities for the synthesis and characterisation of the compounds, and then use modern cellular assays to determine the toxicity and modes of action of these compounds in normal and reducing environments. The successful applicant will gain training in synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry, characterisation and physical measurements. Based in the well-equipped CAP laboratories, the project will also involve collaborations within pharmacology, and the applicant will establish expertise in chemical and cellular biology. They will also have, or expect to obtain, a first class, 2(i) or equivalent honours degree in chemistry or medicinal chemistry, along with a strong interest in synthetic inorganic chemistry and the design of new anticancer agents. Please contact Dr Rianne Lord () for further information.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of the project is 1 October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time. The studentship length is 3 years.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a competition for a Faculty of Science funded studentship. Funding is available to UK/EU applicants and comprises home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009 for 3 years. Overseas applicants may apply but they are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (which for 2019-20 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at View Website . Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual increase).

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