Fully-funded PhD Studentship - Development of Lanthanide Coiled Coil Complexes for Applications in MRI

University of Birmingham - School of Chemistry

Since MRI’s first clinical applications nearly thirty years ago, MRI has become an essential tool for clinical diagnosis. Image contrast is routinely enhanced by the use of a contrast agent (CA), normally based on complexes of gadolinium. One of the important factors in CA efficiency (relaxivity) is increased water interaction and reduced tumbling in solution.

The Peacock and Britton groups have recently developed a new class of potential MRI CAs for use in medical imaging, based on novel miniature coiled coil protein ligands. The protein ligand leads to gadolinium complexes which display superior r2 contrast capabilities (r2 ~90 mM-1 s-1) compared to the traditional complexes currently employed in the clinic (r2 ~6 mM-1 s-1 for Dotarem®). This PhD project will develop new metalloproteins for use as MRI contrast agents, by building on these recent results. This is a multidisciplinary project incorporating elements of biological, inorganic and physical chemistry. The student will gain considerable experience in a range of techniques including, peptide design and synthesis, solution spectroscopic techniques and MRI.

Interested candidates with undergraduate Chemistry degree, are encouraged to informally contact Dr Anna Peacock (a.f.a.peacock@bham.ac.uk) to discuss the project, and can apply formally following instructions in the link:


Further information about the groups can be found at: chemweb.bham.ac.uk/~peacoafa/Peacock_Website.htm


We are keen to appoint a candidate asap.

Funding Details

Fully funded 3 year PhD studentship. Funding covers University fees and provide 36 months’ maintenance at standard RCUK rates (currently £14,057).

Closing Date

31/08/2017 Early application is encouraged as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is identified

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Midlands of England