PhD studentship in Biological Physics

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in Biological Physics.

Project title: Soft Matter and Biological Physics of Antibodies

Anticipated start date for project: September 2014.
Closing date for applications: The application process remains open until a suitably qualified candidate is successfully recruited.

Information about the project: 

A PhD studentship is available starting from September 2014 in Biological Physics, the School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester. The studentship is funded by MedImmune, which focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of biologic prescription medicines, and is the biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca.

This project has a focus on antibodies - proteins that can be engineered with exceptionally high selectivity and specificity to recognize their target molecules. Recent scientific and technological advances have now paved the way for developing antibodies as a new generation of protein drugs (biologics or biotherapeutics) for unmet clinical needs. In the course of bioprocessing (the expression, purification, formulation and packaging), antibodies are exposed to different surfaces and interfaces. Some of these interactions have the potential to cause structural unfolding of the antibody and loss of their unique functions. The main objective of this work is to establish the basic understanding of the impact of the adsorption and desorption of antibodies at the solid/liquid interface and to develop the theoretical basis about how to control these interfacial interactions.

The project will utilize laser based biosensors and neutron reflection techniques. The student will base his/her research at Manchester but will undertake research and training at a neutron facility and MedImmune, Cambridge. The project thus provides a unique training opportunity for the student to learn how to link leading scientific research to technology innovations.

Qualifications applicants should have/expect to receive: The successful candidate will have or expect to obtain a first or top upper second class degree or equivalent in a relevant degree (e.g. MPhys, MSci, MChem, MPharm) in science, engineering and bioscience. Those with experimental/computational skills and enthusiasm for research and innovation are encouraged to apply.

Amount of funding available and eligibility: The project is fully funded by MedImmune for the maximum period of 4 years. No prior experience of neutron research or bioscience is required as a full package of training and support will be provided.

Contact for further information: j.lu@manchester.ac.uk or drop in to Room 3.14, Schuster Building on Manchester campus.

Project Supervisor:  Prof Jian R Lu (Manchester Biological Physics).

Apply online

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