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PhD Studentship: DNA Encoded Libraries for Synergetic Target and Ligand Identification

University of Sussex - Chemistry

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sussex, Falmer
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Home (UK) tuition fees and stipend at standard UKRI rates
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 24th November 2023
Closes: 29th February 2024
 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT:

DNA encoded libraries became an established technology to generate hits for various drug discovery programs. The technology combines the power of combinatorial chemistry, PCR, and NGS to screen millions of barcoded compounds against targets of interest. This research project will take DNA encoded libraries to the next level in drug discovery. The project will bridge two key stages in drug discovery to identify targets and ligands synergistically in unmet therapeutic needs.

Project Objectives

DNA encoded libraries (DELs) have a huge potential to screen millions of compounds in one-go against immobilised purified targets. Design of focused libraries based on privileged building blocks will allow the encoded chemical spaces to act as warheads to identify new targets and their ligands synergistically. The project aims to: (i) design focused libraries for screening against specific targets, (ii) include identified hits in the design of bifunctional DNA encoded libraries, (iii) screen against mixture of targets in their biological environment.

The project will provide in-depth training in the fast-growing field of DNA encoded libraries along with (theoretical and practical) training in drug design, organic and medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology, which is essential for interdisciplinary future career in drug discovery.

You will work with experienced team in the Department of Chemistry, School of Life Sciences and Sussex Drug Discovery Centre (SDDC). You will work in an interdisciplinary environment and will be exposed to different techniques and research projects.

Informal enquiries about the project can be made to Dr Haitham Hassan at haitham.hassan@sussex.ac.uk

How to apply:

Please submit a formal application using the online admissions portal attaching a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, personal statement, and two academic referees. A research proposal is not required.

On the application system select Programme of Study – PhD chemistry. Please state the project title under funding obtained and the supervisor’s name where required.

Ideal candidates will have a strong background in organic chemistry and chemical biology or in a related subject like Life Sciences or a pharmacy degree. They should have strong interest in interdisciplinary work in a Life-Science-related subject. Candidates should have or expect to obtain a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree. An MSc degree will be advantageous. Your qualification should be in chemistry or a related subject area. You may also be considered for the position if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section - English language requirements

Applications are particularly welcomed from candidates with protected characteristics – e.g., from Black and other ethnic minorities – who are under-represented in postgraduate research at our institution.

For enquiries about the application process, please email Emma Chorley: lifesci-rec@sussex.ac.uk

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