Fighting Antibiotics Resistance: Synthesis of New Polycyclic Structures with Antibacterial Activi...

University of East Anglia
September 12 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Bacterial infections are one of the most frequent diseases in humans and animals and are lamentably ranked 3rd among the top 10 leading causes of death. Although antibiotics are the most potent pharmacological weapons against bacterial pathogens, their use is associated with the appearance of resistant microorganisms.

One of the best strategies to enhance antibiotic efficiency and prevent resistance development is mixing several antibiotics together for synergistic actions. In theory, an even better approach to that could be obtained by combining antibiotics at the molecular level. Hybrid antimicrobials consist of the combination of two or more bioactive frameworks into a single molecule to create chemical entities more effective than their individual components.

The PhD student will investigate the design, development and characterisation of new polycyclic molecules as well as the evaluation of these molecules as potential antimicrobial agents. In particular, the project will explore the application of diversity-oriented synthesis to obtain a library of compounds that resemble the structure of important bioactive natural compounds. In addition to this, the biologically active hits will also be considered for hybridization to enhance efficiency and lower bacterial resistance.

The successful candidate will receive guidance throughout the project and will be trained in organic synthesis, structure-activity relationship, the use of spectroscopic techniques and chromatography to characterise the compounds produced and the techniques needed to carry out the bioassays. The outcomes of the project will be disseminated through publication in organic and medicinal chemistry research journals and conferences allowing the student to develop scientific writing and communication skills.

Applicants need to be highly motivated and enthusiastic about research. They should have an education in Pharmacy, Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry or a related subject and must have, or expect to achieve, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or international equivalent.

Interviews will be held w/c 22 January 2018.

Funding notes

This PhD project is in a Faculty of Science competition for funded studentships.  These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise home/EU fees, an annual stipend of £14,553 and £1000 per annum to support research training.  Overseas applicants may apply but they are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (in 2017/18 the difference is £13,805 for the Schools of CHE, PHA & MTH (Engineering), and £10,605 for CMP & MTH but fees are subject to an annual increase).

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess