PhD Position in Medicinal Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Maynooth University, Ireland

A SFI fully funded four-year PhD position is available to start in Sept 2023 with Prof. John Stephens  (Maynooth University), Dr Gemma Kinsella (TU Dublin), and Prof. James Curtin (TU Dublin), on an anticancer project targeting glioblastoma multiforme. We are looking for an enthusiastic synthetic/medicinal chemist to join our multidisciplinary PlasmaPLUS team. PlasmaPLUS is a  collaborative research project funded by Science Foundation Ireland and led by senior researchers from TU Dublin, UCD and Maynooth University and involves a number of postdoctoral and PhD students. This PhD position will involve the design, synthesis, and characterisation of molecules that can act in a prodrug fashion in combination with cold plasma. The work will include the use of a SAR  model to inform the development of lead analogues for further characterisation and developing a  computational model to inform future prodrug development.

Cold plasmas generate relatively long-lived, biologically active secondary reactive species. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are involved in numerous cellular processes, are generated in the plasma discharge and are key mediators of the observed biological effects. These species are generated in situ within cells, therefore providing a mechanism for generating relatively high local concentrations of reactive species in cells and tissues in a controlled fashion. A variety of prodrugs activated by reactive oxygen species have been previously characterised by the MU and TU Dublin teams. This work was based on the premise that tumour cells have higher oxidative stress and therefore more likely to trigger compound activation.

Applications are welcome from candidates holding (or expecting to hold in Sept 2023) at least an upper 2nd class BSc Hons degree in Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry – or a multi-disciplinary degree for which  Chemistry was a significant part. Applications are also be welcome from candidates with an MSc/MChem in Chemistry. The planned programme of research would particularly suit someone with a strong interest in Medicinal and Organic Chemistry.

Stipend of €18,500 per annum (tax-free) plus full tuition fee for EU students. To be considered for this position, please e-mail [email protected] by the 13th of June 2023. Include a copy of your CV and a statement outlining your motivation and why you think you would be suited for this position. Interviews will be arranged shortly after this date. For informal enquiries please email [email protected].

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