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PhD Studentship: DNA Conjugated Nanoparticles for mRNA Directed Killing of Multiple Myeloma Cancer Cells

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per year
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 2nd April 2019
Closes: 31st August 2019

Supervisor: Prof. Antonios Kanaras

Project description

Title: DNA conjugated nanoparticles for mRNA directed killing of multiple myeloma cancer cells

Nanomaterials are employed in several fields of science ranging from biology and medicine and the development of new diagnostic methods, drug delivery, and imaging, to physics and engineering and the fabrication of novel devices for energy conversion and storage. The major reason for the vast range of applications of nanomaterials is the ability to easily tune their magnetic, optical, electrical, catalytic and mechanical properties, characteristic for different materials by changing their morphology.

Aim of the project:

The holy grail in cancer therapy is to target cancer cells singularly with ultra-precision and avoid bystander killing of healthy cells. In this project the student will synthesize a new range of nanoparticulate systems with the aim to deliver anticancer drugs only at cancer cells and not in the surrounding healthy cells. The student will obtain a range of interdisciplinary skills including strategies to synthesize nanoparticles and functionalize them with biomolecules (e.g. DNA), skills on cell cultures and the relevant characterization techniques.

Candidates should have a degree in one of the following disciplines: chemistry, physics, materials or biology. Prior knowledge on cell cultures and on nanoparticle synthesis and functionalization with active molecules such as DNA or peptides will be considered as additional experience.

Relevant publications on the topic of this project: Nanoscale 2016,8 (38), 16857-16861; ACS Nano, 2018, 12 (4), 3333–3340.

Please discuss your applications with Prof. Antonios Kanaras ( and Dr Surinder Sahota (

Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class 4-year degree (60% and above) or Master degree in Physics, chemistry, materials or biology.

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2019 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: four years (full-time)

Funding: full tuition fees, for UK/EU students, and a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per year

Assessment: Nine month and 18 month reports, viva voce and thesis examination

Start date: typically September


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