PET research lab

A "Shake and Use" theranostic system for combined radio-imaging and photodynamic therapy


Funded PhD


3 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

22 January 2021

About this project

The aim of the project is to synthesise a candidate “theranostic” agent for advancement to clinical trials. The term theranostic refers to the combination of a THERApeutic component and a diagNOSTIC component in a single molecule, in this case the therapeutic component will be a photodynamic sensitiser, which can destroy tumours when activated with visible light, and the diagnostic component will be a ligand system suitable for binding the positron emitting isotope gallium-68. 

The team involved in the project is made up of Professor Boyle (Hull), Dr Graeme Stasiuk (KCL) and Professor Alexander MacRoberts & Dr Kerstin Sanders (UCL) as the project lead investigators, and is supported by postdoctoral researchers and PhD students in all four laboratories.

The scholarship is part of a larger project involving collaborators at Kings College and University College, London.

The successful student will be based in Hull but will have the opportunity to visit the laboratories of collaborators in London to learn techniques and test compounds synthesised in Hull.

You will primarily be involved in synthesising and testing the therapeutic component of the system but will have the opportunity to learn radio-imaging both at the Hull Centre for Molecular Imaging and radio-imaging laboratories at KCL and UCL.

You will join the research group of Professor Ross Boyle, who leads the Photobiology & Photomedicine section based in the Department of Chemistry. The group is well resourced and occupies two laboratories, one devoted to synthesis of light activated molecules, and the second devoted to photobiological investigations of those molecules. The group comprises two postdoctoral research assistants and three PhD students and is equipped with all the synthetic, spectroscopic and biological equipment required for the project.

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. 

Find out more

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

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This scholarship includes tuition fees as well as a stipend, which for 2020 is £15285 per annum. This funding is in place for three years and is dependent on satisfactory progress throughout. A PhD programme at Hull comprises three years of research followed by a writing up-period for completion of the thesis if required and if approved by the supervisor. The scholarship funding does not cover the fees for the writing-up period.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Entry requirements

This scholarship is open to Home students only on a full-time basis over three years. Applicants for all projects should have a first class undergraduate degree together with relevant research experience or a Masters level qualification in a related subject. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.