University of Cambridge

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PhD Studentship: Physical Stability of Therapeutic Peptides


We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student with a strong academic background in natural sciences and an interest in biophysical methods to work with Prof. Sophie Jackson on the physical stability of therapeutic peptides. The studentship is a 4-year BBSRC DTP Industrial CASE award, co-funded by MedImmune (the biopharmaceutical subsidiary of AstraZeneca). The student will spend some time working within the company during their PhD.

In the first year the student will be part of the University of Cambridge BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, and will undertake rotation projects before starting PhD research in the Jackson Group. In addition to the research programme the student will also have a Placement Internship. For further details see: https://bbsrcdtp.lifesci.cam.ac.uk/.

The project will involve a study of the chemical and organic impurities arising during MEDI0382 Drug Substance (DS) and Drug Product (DP) manufacture under different process conditions, exploring the relationship between these impurities and the physical stability of the peptide. The aim will be to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying gel and fibril formation and how this relates to the different processing conditions. We will aim to identify predictors of early fibril formation and physical instability in the formulated Drug Product, and to identify predictors of early fibril formation leading to physical instability in synthetic peptide formulations. The project will be interdisciplinary with emphasis on physical methods (such as mass spectrometry and solid-state NMR) to study peptide purity, structure and aggregation.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) the equivalent of a UK first class or upper second class honours degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in chemistry, biochemistry, physics, or other relevant discipline, and must have an interest in using physical methods to study biological systems. The studentship will provide a maintenance grant and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, and is available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements of the Research Councils. Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Owing to funding restrictions imposed by the sponsor, non-EU citizens cannot be considered.

Applications should emailed to Harriet Kerridge (hk457@cam.ac.uk), and should include a CV, detailed academic transcripts, a cover letter highlighting what you can bring to the project, and the contact details for two academic referees. For informal enquiries please contact Prof. Sophie Jackson (sej13@cam.ac.uk).

Please quote reference MA14644 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.