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Novel radiation sensitising anti-cancer agents


Funded PhD


3 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

Wednesday 23 January

About this project

Radio-enhancers are molecules which interact with radiation, or the radicals produced during radiotherapy, resulting in an increase in the damage to the cancerous tissue.

In this project we will synthesise and test a new generation of radio-enhancers based upon porphyrins. Porphyrins are molecules which have negligible toxicity, unlike the most commonly used radio-enhancers. By carefully manipulating the chemical structure we will fine tune the electron affinity and tumour targeting properties of these molecules, thus optimising the enhancement of the radiotherapeutic effects on tumours.

The project will involve molecular design and synthesis of porphyrins for use as radio-enhancers, and biological pre-clinical testing in radiobiological-relevant conditions (such as hypoxia), with the aim of identifying a molecule suitable for advancing into clinical trials by the conclusion of the project.

The successful candidate will be expected to have a solid knowledge base in synthetic/medicinal chemistry, ideally with some knowledge of cancer biology. The candidate must also show a willingness to work in a multi-disciplinary project and environment, and undertake both synthetic chemistry and cell biology training.

The University's Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme. 

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The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

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The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential.

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chains to slavery. 

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Full-time UK/EU and International PhD Scholarships will include tuition fees and maintenance (£14,777 in 2018/19) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 1st class undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, or a related discipline, or Masters level research qualification in a relevant discipline. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

Interviews will be held between 7 and 27 February 2019.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 15 March 2019 at the latest.

Studentships will start on 16 September 2019.