Nanomedicine-protein interactions: Understanding protein corona composition effects on nanomedicine cellular  uptake

We are looking for applicants to join our exciting project that will seek to understand nanomedicine characteristics that are key to impacting the biological fate of nanoparticles using a systematic approach. The successful candidate will apply cutting-edge technologies for characterizing nanomedicine characteristics, study protein corona composition in biological media, impact on subsequent cellular uptake, and develop novel biochemical assays that will aid the prediction of nanomedicine biological fate. This PhD project will be highly-suited to candidates from a pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, or engineering background who are keen to develop skills in analytical chemistry, molecular biology and cell culture. 

From bench to clinic, a new drug candidate will face multiple roadblocks and challenges in its development. In oncology drug development, a balance has to be met between achieving tumour bioavailability and potential off-target organ toxicity- Nanomedicines have emerged as a promising solution to overcoming such challenges.  When administered intravenously, a nanomedicine will be exposed to various biomolecules in blood. Some of these molecules will adsorb onto the nanomedicine surface, forming a ‘corona’, altering its chemical identity and biological fate. Corona composition is unique to nanomedicine type and characteristics, and has been linked to the success of tumour drug delivery.  

A s a PhD candidate, you will join the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, a leading centre for research and training focused on the discovery, development and delivery of better medicines. As a Strathclyde University PhD candidate, you will have access to the Strathclyde Researcher Development programme (PG Cert) offering you a competitive advantage as a research professional. Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow. 

How to Apply
Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK, in pharmaceutical sciences, engineering, or analytical chemistry.  
All enquiries and applications should be directed to Dr Zahra Rattray  ). Applications will be reviewed when received, and shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. The position will remain open till the advertised deadline.  
All applications must be submitted via email (subject line: PhD applicant) as a single pdf file and include the following:  
1) A cover letter (max 1 page) explaining your interest and fit to the project  
2) A CV (maximum three pages).  
3) Names and contact details of TWO references (including email addresses).  
4) A copy of your academic transcripts.  
Subject line: PhD applicant  
Email address:  

Successful candidates will be invited for an interview in June 26th/27th 2019. It is anticipated that the PhD Studentship will start in October 2019.  Seib will the second supervisor. 

Funding notes

The studentship will last for 3.5 years. It will cover the tuition fee for UK/EU candidates, and provide and annual tax-free PhD stipend (starting £15,000 per annum). Please note that candidates outside the EU will not be eligible for funding under this studentship. 

Barbero F, Russo L, Vitali M, et al. Formation of the Protein Corona: The Interface between Nanoparticles and the Immune System. Seminars in Immunology 2017;34: 52-60. 

Bertrand, N., et al. (2017). "Mechanistic understanding of in vivo protein corona formation on polymeric nanoparticles and impact on pharmacokinetics." Nature Communications 8(1): 777. 
Hamrang (Rattray), Z., et al. (2015). "Characterisation of Stress-Induced Aggregate Size Distributions and Morphological Changes of a Bi-Specific Antibody Using Orthogonal Techniques." Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 104(8): 2473-2481. 

Rattray Z, Rattray NJW, Pluen A (2014). Proteins behaving badly: emerging technologies in profiling biopharmaceutical aggregation. Trends in Biotechnology 31(8):448-58.