PhD Research Project: Mechanistic study of molecular assembly for gene and drug delivery

United Kingdom
Oct 17, 2016
Nov 25, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

Despite numerous advances have been made in gene and drug delivery over recent years, there are still many technical hurdles constraining their applications in disease treatments. This PhD project will develop mechanistic understanding from well selected models to unravel how drug and DNA/siRNA molecules form complexes with biocompatible peptides, polymers or nanoparticles as nanocarriers, how the nanocarriers attack model cell membrane at physiological environment, and subsequently the drug and gene delivery efficiencies. The project will be laboratory based and will build up the main body of work by studying how purposely developed peptides, polymers or nanoparticles interact with model lipid membranes, DNAs/siRNAs and model drugs, evaluate the toxicities of the aggregates with and without drugs or DNAs/siRNAs through careful cell culture studies. The aggregates will also be tagged for targeted drug and gene delivery to cancer cells.

The student will receive training in molecular biophysics covering leading physical techniques for molecular characterisation (dynamic light scattering, small angle neutron scattering, Langmuir trough, AFM, TEM, ellipsometry etc.) and various cell assays to enable him/her to undertake the exciting project.

There is potential prospect that the student may find future employment in biotech/biomed, or pharmaceutical industries.

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Funding Notes

The DTG provides funds for studentships (fees + stipend for UK applicants, fees only for EU students) on a competitive basis. Applications are welcome up until the closing date. Overseas applicants will not qualify for DTG funding but self funded/externally funded applications are welcome