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PhD Studentship - A chemical biology approach to identifying cyclic peptide protein-protein interaction inhibitors

Chemical Biology, Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1260520EB

Supervisor:                 Ali Tavassoli

Project description

We are seeking a talented and motivated scientist to work on a 3.5 year interdisciplinary PhD project in the field of chemical biology, funded by a major US pharmaceutical company.

The Tavassoli lab have pioneered methods for the generation and screening of cyclic peptide libraries. The approach, called SICLOPPS, has led to the identification and development of a number of first in class inhibitors; for a review see: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1367593116301818 

The aim of this project is to use a new iteration of the SICLOPPS platform for the identification of cyclic peptide inhibitors of a disease target of interest to our industrial partner. This 3.5 year PhD project will combine the Tavassoli lab’s expertise in identifying and developing cyclic peptide protein-protein interaction inhibitors with the medicinal chemistry and drug development expertise of a major US pharmaceutical company. 

This is a unique opportunity to receive high-quality training in a range of disciplines, including synthetic chemistry, chemical biology and mammalian cell culture, and to work closely with a major pharmaceutical company. The project will be conducted in the Tavassoli lab, which contains state of the art multidisciplinary laboratories, facilities and equipment.

The ideal candidate will have prior lab-based experience of chemical biology, cell culture and/or synthetic organic chemistry. However, experience in all these areas isn’t essential, and appropriate training will be provided to the successful candidate as part of their PhD. 

More information about the Tavassoli lab can be found on the University of Southampton website:

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/chemistry/about/staff/ali1.page 

Please feel free to contact Ali by email ali1(at)soton.ac.uk if you have any questions or would like to discuss the opportunity informally (please include your CV). 

Entry Requirements

Applicant should hold, or expect to attain a first class, or upper second class honours degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or related subject

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD Chemistry (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Ali Tavassoli under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in Chemistry. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science we were awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2014 a and a second Silver award in 2017.  Chemistry gives full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy*, onsite childcare facilities. For further information please visit https://www.southampton.ac.uk/chemistry/about/Equality/index.page

*subject to qualifying criteria


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