Fully-Funded MRC Industrial Case PhD Studentship

Formulation and development of a novel transdermal system for the local delivery of the anti-cancer agent MTL-004

Applications are invited for a four year interdisciplinary research studentship funded by MRC and Morvus Technology Ltd to be undertaken within the School of Pharmacy (all applications must be through the School of Life and Health Sciences) at Aston University. The school was rated recently by the Sunday Times as best in its class, making specific reference to is applied research subjects. The high quality of research in Aston’s School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS) was confirmed in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) – with research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 3rd out of 63 UK Higher Education Institutions. Additional information about research in the School can be found at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research/

The studentship is an exciting opportunity for any individual who has a keen interest in working in a highly dynamic and competitive research environment of formulation and development of novel delivery systems. The studentship will be supervised by Dr Deborah Lowry and Prof Yvonne Perrie at Aston University and Prof Richard Knox who will be based at Morvus Technology Ltd.

Non-melanoma skin cancer may be treated by surgery followed by radiation or chemotherapy. These approaches are effective however there are side effects. In recent years there has been increasing focus on topical administration for early stage treatment to deliver chemotherapy directly to the abnormal cells with minimal effect to other tissues and/or organs. Morvus Technology Ltd has developed MTL-004, an active form of Tretazicar. This anti-cancer agent has shown to have little effect on normal non-dividing tissues. Formulation at Aston Pharmacy School has resulted in the development of prototype formulations for transdermal delivery of MTL-004. The core objectives within the proposal involve formulation development of transdermal gels loaded with nanoparticules followed by thorough characterisation of the system including in vitro diffusion studies and permeability assessment.

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Financial Support:

The studentship comprises a maintenance stipend for the student (currently £15,591 per annum tax free) and payment of Home/EU tuition fees. The studentship is available under the MRC funding model for the duration of your registration.  Overseas Students are not eligible to apply. To check further into eligibility, please refer to the MRC Website.

Application Requirements:

● Eligible Applicants should have or expect to hold a good Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either First Class or Upper Second Class or hold a Masters Degree (MSc/MRes) in a relevant discipline (e.g. Pharmaceutics, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Chemistry).

● EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum score of 620 (260 minimum in computer test) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.5 in each section and an overall band of 7.0.

● The Studentship is funded for 4 years, subject to a satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, and submission by 4 years is required.  The anticipated Registration is 1st October 2013.

● Enquiries should be addressed to the Principal Supervisor Dr Deborah Lowry (E-mail: d.lowry@aston.ac.uk).

● To apply please complete the online application form at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research/postgraduate-research/apply/ and please quote the reference: R130084 on all applications.

● The Closing Date for All Applications is: Monday, 29th April 2013.

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