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Development of Autotaxin Inhibitors for the Treatment of Respiratory Diseases

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Craig Jamieson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Medical Research Scotland
PhD Studentship Award

This project is one of 15 PhD Studentships funded by Medical Research Scotland (http://www.medicalresearchscotland.org.uk) to be delivered jointly by the named University and Company. The Studentship will provide the first-class academic and commercial training needed to equip the successful candidate for a science career in an increasingly competitive market.

"Development of Autotaxin Inhibitors as New Treatment Units in Fibrosis and Cancer" to be delivered by the University of Strathclyde [Supervisors: Dr Craig Jamieson (Pure and Applied Chemistry) and Dr Louise Young (Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences)] and GlaxoSmithKline (www.gsk.com) [Company supervisor: Dr Simon Macdonald].

The enzyme Autotaxin is intimately involved in the pathology of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a progressive and debilitating respiratory disorder with no known cure and limited current treatment options. The focus of this PhD project is on the identification of drug-like molecules which can potentially inhibit this system and lead to new treatment units for this disease. Previous efforts by other researchers in this area have led to compounds with generally poor physical properties which is correlated with attrition in drug development. Existing work in our own laboratories has enabled the design and profiling of a range of novel compounds, to furnish much higher quality starting points for further optimisation, delivering molecules with significantly improved physical properties.

The aims of this project will span both chemistry and pharmacology, therefore, will suit current Chemistry students seeking a future career in interdisciplinary research. Specifically, we aim to use modern medicinal chemistry techniques, including structure-based design, to optimise our emerging lead series at the same time as developing physiologically relevant pharmacological assays to profile our new assets and confirm their utility in IPF. The programme of work will also involve close interaction with colleagues from GlaxoSmithKline’s Respiratory Medicinal Chemistry group and will include secondments to their UK research centre. Overall, this project will give the associated student first rate exposure to modern approaches to drug discovery and will equip them well for a future career in this thriving sector.


Enquiries should be sent by email to Dr Craig Jamieson:
[Email Address Removed]


Candidates must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK MSci or MChem degree or degree in a closely related discipline (or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK) and must have demonstrated excellent theoretical and practical skills.

Applicants should send a CV, the contact details of 2 references (including email addresses) and a covering letter, outlining why the applicant wishes to carry out this project and their career aspirations, by email to Dr Craig Jamieson:
[Email Address Removed]

Interviews are expected to take place 3-4 weeks after the closing date for applications.

It is anticipated that the PhD Studentship will start in October 2016.

Funding Notes

PhD Studentship provides: an annual tax-free stipend of £16,500, increasing to £17,000 over the four years; tuition fees at UK/EU rates only; consumables; and contribution to travel expenses. International fees are not covered.


Further details on the host Department and Research Grouping can be found at:

How good is research at University of Strathclyde in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of Glasgow)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 35.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Meet University of Strathclyde at


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