PhD Studentship Development of a Novel Controlled Release Pelvic Drug Delivery System to Manage Endometriosis

Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences

Astra Zeneca UK Ltd

Professor Kay Marshall, Dr Alpesh Mistry & Dr Barry Crean

Endometriosis is a disease which affects ten per cent of women of reproductive age. The aetiology of the disease is unclear and as yet there are no ideal medical forms of management that are suitable for long term treatment. Endometriosis can cause severe and debilitating levels of pain and impair fertility, the latter is compounded by the fact that the hormone based therapies also interrupt the menstrual cycle and so potentiate this problem.

One way to attenuate some of the issues associated with existing and potential novel therapies would be to deliver a drug locally. The aim of this project is two-fold: to work with the reproduction research team at the Manchester Pharmacy School to develop an in vivo model for this disease; to collaborate with the pharmaceutical development team at Astra Zeneca to develop potential drug delivery systems.

To ensure good translation the model would be developed in parallel with experimentation on human tissues. Profiling the characteristics of ectopic endometrial lesions and the inflammatory environment of the pelvis is essential to achieving good predictability. The successful PhD candidate would work on the biological and pharmacological aspects of the project at the University and spend time with the pharmaceutical development team at Astra Zeneca (Macclesfield site).

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A range of skills-training relevant to the pharmacology and pharmaceutics sector will be provided in this project, supporting progression into a variety of career positions within the pharmaceutical industry or academic settings.

The project provides a studentship covering UK/EU tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend at Research Council rates (£13,726 in 2013/14). Non-EU nationals are encouraged to enquire about partial funding linked to this project, as bursaries are available to the most outstanding international candidates. Funding will be between 3-4 years in duration subject to the experience of the successful candidate. The project is due to commence in September 2013, although there may be some flexibility on this.

Applicants should hold (or expect to obtain) a minimum upper-second honours degree (or equivalent) in the pharmaceutical or biomedical/material sciences with basic experience of cell culture, chemical and mechanical characterisation of materials techniques.

Please direct applications in the following format to Professor Kay Marshall ( and Dr Debbie Fischer (, via the ‘Apply’ button below:                    

  • Academic CV
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Contact details for two suitable referees
  • A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date.

Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Professor Marshall and Dr Fischer at the addresses above.

Deadline for applications: Friday 19 July 2013

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