Fully funded EPSRC PhD studentships for October 2019 start
A number of fully funded PhD studentships are available at the University of Huddersfield as part of an EPSRC doctoral training programme in Materials Science, as detailed at http://hud.ac.uk/materialsdtp Studentships are open to UK and EU citizens with a 1st or 2:1 in a relevant subject and for UK applicants offer a tax free stipend at the standard EPSRC level (£15,009 for 2019/20) with 3 years of full funding and 12 months of write-up time if required.
In the “Irradiated excipients” project you will learn to apply Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) methods, including spin trapping techniques, to study radicals induced by radiation sterilization of pharmaceutical excipients. It is crucial for patient safety to ensure pharmaceutical are sterile, however in many cases the ingredients cannot withstand thermal sterilization methods so alternatives are required. Sterilization by γ-irradiation is a desirable method due to speed and cost, but can lead to generation of reactive free radicals leading to potential degradation of the product. In our previous work we showed that following γ-irradiation of L-histidine powder it is possible to trap free-radicals in solution, both upon dissolution of the irradiated solid in a spin-trap containing solution but also by contact with catalytic metal many minutes after dissolution. This generation of radicals in solution was unexpected and had not previously been observed, hence was of great interest to our collaborators in the pharmaceutical industry. In this project a detailed characterization of this new mechanism will be carried out by EPR, with experimental work supplemented by computational modelling of the solid state structures of pharmaceutical excipients to define the response of crystalline polymorphs of pharmaceutical excipients to γ-irradiation, and to determine avenues for radical quenching and production of radical inducing oxidants. We will regularly discuss results with industrial collaborators in the pharmaceutical industry.
Huddersfield is a small but vibrant town in West Yorkshire, close to the edge of the Peak District National Park. Many first time visitors are pleasantly surprised by the town with its abundance of impressive Victorian buildings including the Victoria Tower on Castle Hill overlooking the town, and the picturesque location within the rolling hills of “Last of the summer wine” country. Students in the town particularly enjoy the low cost of living compared to many larger cities, yet the amenities of Leeds and Manchester are easily accessible by train in just 20 or 30 minutes and for under £10 return.
The University itself has a strong tradition in Chemistry, tracing its origins back to the Young men’s mental improvement society founded in 1841, and over many years trained chemists to work in the local textiles and later chemical industries. The School of Applied Sciences is housed within the Joseph Priestley building which has recently undergone an £8.3 million refurbishment, and is currently being extended with an £18.2 million teaching lab wing set for completion in July 2019.
The project is supervised by Dr Chris Wedge and Dr Marco Molinari. Chris was a Part II with Prof C.R. Timmel, post doc with Prof P.J. Hore and Stipendiary Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at St Hilda’s College before leaving Oxford in 2013 – his full research profile is available at https://pure.hud.ac.uk/en/persons/chris-wedge
Full applications details are available at http://hud.ac.uk/materialsdtp with the application deadline 31st March 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to Huddersfield for interview.
Informal enquiries should be sent to Dr Chris Wedge email@example.com