PhD Studentship: The use of novel transition metal complexes for photodynamic therapy

University of Sheffield - Oncology and Metabolism

Conventional chemotherapy uses chemically active drugs, which attack not only the cancer, but also healthy tissues, causing severe unwanted side-effects. This problem is overcome by using anticancer pro-drugs (photosensitizers – PS) which are activated by light at the site of the tumour (photodynamic therapy, PDT). PDT pro-drugs (PS) are non-toxic in the absence of light but kill cells when exposed to light. Thus by directing light locally to the tumour, selective tumour cell killing is achieved, while non-irradiated cells remain unharmed. This has tremendous advantages for targeted delivery and dramatically reduced general toxicity as only the tumour site is treated. Transition metal complexes are highly promising PS due to long excited-state lifetimes, and photostability.

In this multidisciplinary project the student will characterise and test the PDT activity of a panel of novel transition metal containing small complexes specifically designed for PDT. We will use 1-photon and excitingly two-photon excitation to explore the therapeutic potential of the new agents. The project will be based in the medical school but will involve working between chemistry and biology learning a range of cell biology, bioimaging, and physical chemistry techniques, thus providing a broad training in translational oncology research.

The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Doctoral Academy Scholarships cover Home/EU fee and RCUK rate stipend for three years. Overseas students may apply but will need to fund the difference between the Home and Overseas fee from another source.

Proposed start date: October 2017

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Northern England