EPSRC MRes/PhD Studentship

Generation and Characterisation of New Molecular Scaffolds for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications

Reference Code: CL071


Name of the supervisor
Dr N Keegan, Institute of Cellular Medicine

Professor C McNeil, Institute of Cellular Medicine

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Duration of the Award
Four years (MRes Medical and Molecular Biosciences, followed by a three-year PhD). Alternatively, a three-year PhD for candidates with a suitable masters-level degree.

Project Description
Our group plan to develop bespoke recognition molecules for diagnostic, therapeutic and cellular imaging applications using peptide aptamers. The term “peptide aptamer” is used to describe short peptide sequences constrained within a three dimensional scaffold, introducing new binding modalities against targets of interest. An artificial antibody would be another way to describe “peptide aptamers”. The current state of the art seeks to utilise increasingly smaller scaffolds with tailored and bespoke characteristics, such as chemical, thermal and proteolytic stability. We propose to investigate a number of potential protein scaffolds within the project. The overarching theme will be to select and design scaffolds that can be functionally expressed in large quantities, display high stability under extreme conditions and are receptive to the insertion of short peptides at predefined positions. Successful scaffold characterisation would leave the door open to combinatorial screening for specific binding modalities against desirable targets. Our research group is currently well funded in medical diagnostics, leading projects which span sensors, bio-diagnostic marker discovery and selective reagent manufacture.

Also Read  School of Philosophy Scholarships

Value of the Award and Eligibility
Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at £13,726 (2013/14). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Person Specification
You should have a first-class, or upper-second-class BSc in biomedical sciences/relevant topic. 

How to Apply
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form selecting ‘Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – Cellular Medicine’ as the programme of study. Once you have selected the programme, please insert the studentship/partnership reference number CL071. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CL071.

You should also send your covering letter and CV to Dr N Keegan by e-mail toNeil.Keegan@ncl.ac.uk.

Closing Date for Applications 
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Further Information
For further details, please contact:
Dr N Keegan
E-mail: Neil.Keegan@newcastle.ac.uk

For more information and to submit an application, please use the ‘Apply’ button below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *