Talented and motivated students passionate about doing research are invited to apply for this PhD position. The successful applicant will join the Crick PhD Programme in September 2022 and will register for their PhD at one of the Crick partner universities (Imperial College London, King’s College London or UCL).
This 4-year PhD studentship is offered in Dr Charlie McTernan’s Group based at the Francis Crick Institute (the Crick).
We are a synthetic chemistry group working in supramolecular and biological chemistry, and nanotechnology. We work in the Francis Crick Institute in London, and at King’s College London.
Our research looks at how we can apply Supramolecular Chemistry in Biological settings. Supramolecular Chemistry is the study of intermolecular, non-covalent interactions. These non-covalent interactions are critical to protein folding, DNA base pairing, and cellular signalling. Supramolecular Chemistry applies these same principles to create artificial systems capable of performing complex tasks [1-3].
The McTernan Group aims to apply recent breakthroughs in artificial molecular machines and metal-organic capsules in biologically relevant settings. We work with rotaxanes, catenanes and capsules to synthesise functional architectures, creating de novo catalytic enzyme analogues, artificial cellular receptors, and generating targeted drug delivery vehicles.
Supramolecular Chemistry is often inspired by the functionality and complexity of nature. Whilst great strides have been made towards achieving artificial analogues of biological molecular machines, synthetic systems have been unable to match the specificity and directionality vital to the concerted processes of biology.
This PhD project will develop new tools to bridge this gap, creating artificial molecular machines able to span, and transfer information across, biologically relevant membranes [4, 5]. The successful candidate will gain synthetic skills working with macrocycles, rotaxanes, vesicles. You will become expert in cutting-edge supramolecular chemistry, investigating guest binding, complex formation, and membrane insertion. You will gain skills in interpreting NMR spectra, organic synthesis, supramolecular chemistry, fluorescence spectroscopy, ITC measurements, vesicle extrusion, and mass spectrometry.
By creating new ways to transfer information across membranes, you will create a new generation of synthetic cellular receptors. In the longer term, your work will provide new ways to repair and, eventually, replace, faulty biological systems, and so to treat intractable diseases.
This project would suit candidates with a background in chemistry or biochemistry, and an interest in working at the interface between disciplines. An interest in organic synthesis would be an asset, as would a willingness to learn new techniques.
Applicants should hold or expect to gain a first/upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject and have appropriate research experience as part of, or outside of, a university degree course and/or a Masters degree in a relevant subject.
Tagged as: Chemistry, Life Sciences