Novel Synthesis Methods for the Production of Human Circulating Metabolites of Natural Products

About this project

The natural product pharmacology cluster is comprised of researchers from the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (biochemistry and chemistry) and School of Life Sciences (biomedical sciences and sport, health and exercise sciences).  The cluster research focus aims to understand the drug-like properties of natural products (plant chemicals, etc.) in diseases associated with ageing, such as skeletal muscle decline.  Such diseases are difficult to treat (with severely limited therapeutic options), yet result in a substantial health and social care burden.  The cluster has a strong focus on the modulation of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial function in diseases of ageing, and the production of circulating metabolites of natural products.  Two University of Hull funded PhD studentships investigating these areas are detailed below.

Cell-based assessments of the drug-like effects of natural products

Natural products (such as dietary polyphenols) undergo substantial metabolic processing in humans, resulting the production of a wide variety of metabolic derivatives in the blood.  Cell-based assessments of the drug-like effects of natural products may well be limited in the reflection of in vivo systems, due to a lack of availability of these metabolic derivatives for use in testing.  This project will investigate the adaptation of microfluidic technologies to the synthesis of these metabolites.  As part of this approach the successful candidate will gain experience in the construction and use of microfluidic reactors, undertake product characterisation using analytical chemistry approaches (e.g. LC-MS, NMR), and experience enzyme production methods.  Due to the analytical nature of this project, applicants with understanding or experience of analytical chemistry techniques, synthesis, and drug metabolism processes are sought.  This project will be supervised by Dr Huw Jones, Dr Kevin Welham, and Prof Nicole Pamme. 

For further information regarding this project please contact Dr Huw Jones.


You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application. Please refer to the Faculty of Science and Engineering research pages.

For further information regarding this project please contact Dr Huw Jones.

Next steps


To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree in chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, or related disciplines for project 1, and medicine, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, molecular cell biology, or related disciplines for project 2, together with relevant research or clinical experience. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree or a Masters level qualification. 

How to apply

Applications for scholarship consideration at the University of Hull should be made through the Postgraduate Application system.

On the second page of your application, please select “Graduate Scholarship” as the type of scholarship you are applying for. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first identify and contact a potential supervisor.

Apply now

Application deadline: Monday 19 February


Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.