Ph.D. Studentship Computer-aided Drug Design – The Role of Molecular Shape

A PhD studentship is available in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences at LJMU. We seek highly motivated candidates with a proactive approach to impact-driven research that benefits society.

In order for a compound to become a drug it must bind tightly to one or more given receptors, but not to others. The shape of the molecule has a very strong influence upon its ability to do this but is hard to describe succinctly. This project seeks to develop a language and methodology to describe molecular shape and to explore its application to improving a molecule’s likelihood of becoming a drug. Novel chemoinformatics methods will be developed in order to explore the relationship between drug target potency and/or toxicity and chemical shape. Liverpool John Moores University is internationally recognised for its work in computer-based (in silico) techniques in both drug design and predictive toxicology. The PhD project will involve a combination of statistical analysis and programming using a number of commercial and freely available software packages. No prior experience of these techniques is required as appropriate training will be provided.

For informal enquiries email either Dr Andrew Leach ( or Dr Steve Enoch (

General Information:

Tax-free stipend of £13,750 for 2013/2014 (with future rates subject to review) and Home/EU tuition fees paid for three years. The anticipated start date is 6th January 2014.

International students will only be considered if they provide self-funding for the difference between International and EU tuition fees. Applicants should have (or expect to receive) an upper second class degree or higher.

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The successful candidate will register initially for the award of MPhil and will be expected to transfer to PhD registration within 12-15 months (subject to satisfactory progress and approval of a transfer report).

How to Apply:

Applicants should send:

  1. A covering letter outlining your interest in this research area, and any relevant experience in the field. Please explain what makes you suitable for this position. For non-EU candidates there must be a clear statement explaining how you would expect to pay the difference in EU and overseas fees.
  2. A C.V. (maximum two pages) including the names of two referees.

Applications should be submitted, preferably electronically, to Dr Andrew Leach by clicking on the ‘Apply’ button below.

Closing Date: 14th November 2013

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