PhD Studentship: New Point of Care Diagnostic Technology for Cancer Biomarkers

University of Birmingham

There is now overwhelming evidence that glycosylation, the process by which sugars are attached to proteins, changes during the development and progression of various malignancies. Altered glycosylation has been implicated in cancer, immune deficiencies, neurodegenerative diseases, hereditary disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Glycoproteomics is rapidly emerging as an important technique for biomarker discovery, and glycoproteins are expected to become increasingly important to the diagnosis and management of human diseases.

Currently, antibodies are playing a central role in enabling the detection of glycoprotein biomarkers. Nonetheless, antibodies do have their own set of drawbacks that limit the commercialization of antibody sensing technology. They suffer from poor stability, need special handling and require a complicated, costly production procedure. More importantly, they lack specificity and are not able to discriminate among different glycosylated proteins. The current antibody diagnostic technology has well recognized limitations regarding their accuracy and timeliness of diagnose of disease. This project will focus on research into the means of developing a generic, robust, reliable and cost-effective alternative to antibody technology. The project aims to exploit concepts and tools from nanochemistry, supramolecular chemistry and molecular imprinting to provide highly innovative synthetic recognition platforms with high sensitivity and specificity for glycoproteins.

This project will deliver an unique and genuinely world leading research activity in the development of synthetic recognition platforms that will allow for earlier, faster and accurate diagnosis of many devastating human diseases. In this project, the potential of the novel synthetic recognition platforms will be illustrated by developing a novel screening tool for diagnosing prostate cancer, a major cause of morbidity and mortality among men worldwide.

A first degree (typically BSc or Masters) in Chemistry, Engineering, Material Sciences, Physics or Biology is required. Applications including CV and detailed education with grades should be addressed to Professor Paula Mendes (p.m.mendes@bham.ac.uk).

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Midlands of England