Two PhD Studentships in Chemical Biology and Computational Chemistry

University College London

Chemistry is key to re-create synthetic versions of bio-macromolecular structures that are engineered for biomedical applications. The aim of this project is to generate synthetic versions of membrane pores and channels with DNA to achieve unprecedented molecular control for biosensing, targeted cell killing, and synthetic biology (Science 352, 890-891 (2016)).

The first PhD project will build DNA pores with the advanced function to regulate the transport of cargo across membranes for drug delivery devices and synthetic biology (Nat. Nanotechnol. 11, 152-156 (2016)). The second project aims to answer the puzzling question as to how the hydrophilic DNA nanopores interact with the hydrophobic lipid bilayers. The insight will help design better DNA nanopores for biomedical applications.

Both projects are multidisciplinary and incorporate elements of chemical biology, nanobiotechnology, and biophysics. The first project will suit a chemistry student with experience in nucleic acid chemistry. The second project will be ideal for a biophysicist with skills in computational chemistry. Both will obtain training in DNA nanotechnology. The projects will be supervised by Prof. Stefan Howorka, University College London. Co-supervisors are Dr. Max Ryadnov, National Physical Laboratory, and Prof. Peter Coveney, University College London. The websites of the supervisors are,, and

The candidate should have a first or upper second Masters degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in combination with an MRes degree. To be eligible, applicants must satisfy 3 years UK residency criteria (see For further details about the application process, please contact Dr Jadranka Butorac in the Chemistry Department (tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4650, email: The application should be submitted at

The deadline for the application is 31 October 2016 and the position will start in September 2017.

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