Available Research Project

Theoretical Modelling and Experimental Investigation of Polymer-Membrane Interactions for Drug-Delivery

Supervisors: Dr Zuowei Wang, Dr Rebecca Green and Dr Francesca Greco

Project Overview:

Polymeric materials have been widely investigated for the purpose of delivering drugs. While there has been clinical success in this field, the toxicity of some of the proposed polymer carriers has hindered further development. For discovering and even designing efficient and fully bio-compatible polymer drug carriers, it is crucial to understand the microscopic mechanisms of the interactions between various polymeric materials and bio-membranes.

In this highly interdisciplinary and fully funded EPSRC DTP project, the PhD student will carry out multiscale computer simulation and theoretical modelling studies for understanding the interactions between polymers and biological membranes and testing the theoretical predictions by in vitro experiments. The research methodology will involve numerical, theoretical and possibly also experimental techniques, depending on the skills and background of the applicant.

The successful candidate should have strong background in at least one of the science, mathematics, statistics, or engineering disciplines. Good programming skills and some prior knowledge in polymer or soft matter or biological systems are preferred, but not necessary. The PhD student will be co-supervised by Dr Zuowei Wang (Modelling), Dr Rebecca Green (Pharmacy) and Dr Francesca Greco (Pharmacy) who have well-balanced expertise in theoretical and experimental researches. There are also great opportunities to work closely with polymer physicists, chemists and pharmacists at the University of Reading and beyond.

Eligibility:

Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Master Degree or equivalent in Physics, Mathematics or Statistics. For outstanding applicants, applications will also be considered from other disciplines related to this project (e. g., Chemistry, Pharmacy, Engineering). Experience in programming and computational methods is an advantage.

Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK/EU students. For an EU national a full studentship will be given if the candidate has been resident in the UK for the 3 years leading up to the start of the PhD, otherwise fees-only.

Funding Details:

Starts in October 2017

3 years award

Home/EU Tuition Fees + RCUK Minimum Stipend + £1000 Training/Conferences per annum

How to apply:

To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences at http://www.reading.ac.uk/graduateschool/prospectivestudents/gs-how-to-apply.aspx.

*Important note* Please quote the reference 'GS17-010' in the 'Scholarships applied for' box which appears within the Funding Section of your on-line application.

Application Deadline:

Applications will close on the 31st May 2017 or the position will be filled as soon as the suitable candidate is found.

Further Enquiries:

For informal inquiries please contact Zuowei Wang (zuowei.wang@reading.ac.uk) or Rebecca Green (rebecca.green@reading.ac.uk) or Francesca Greco (f.greco@reading.ac.uk).

Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.

For further details please contact Kristine Aldridge (kristine.aldridge@reading.ac.uk).

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