PhD Studentship in Targeted Nanoparticles for High-Dose Intracellular Delivery of Antibiotics

University of Southampton School of Engineering

PhD Studentship Position in Targeted Nanoparticles for High-Dose Intracellular Delivery of Antibiotics

Mechanical Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Friday 27 May 2022
Reference:  1792622DA

Supervisory Team:    Nick Evans, Sumeet Mahajan, Seung Lee, Tracey Newman

Project description

Many bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics, and so new treatments and strategies are required. These might enhance the delivery of antibiotics to specific types of cells or intracellular locations, or they might increase the amount of available antibiotic at the site of infection. We think that encapsulation of antibiotics using nanoparticles at high concentration, in combination with modification of the nanoparticles to enable intracellular targeting, may be a very effective approach in targeting intracellular pathogens. 

As a student on this project, you will work closely between the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down and the University of Southampton, to measure therapeutic targeting of treatments to bacteria within human and animal cells. The antimicrobial efficacy of antibiotic therapies will be assessed using models of appropriate human pathogens primarily using Burkholderia spp. (eg B. pseudomallei or B. thailandensis) but also F. tularensis and B. anthracis in vitro. You will use techniques in high-throughput imaging, nanoparticle chemistry, Raman (micro)spectroscopy and human and mouse cell culture models to achieve this.

We wish to recruit an enthusiastic and dedicated student with a minimum of a 2(i) degree or equivalent. Some laboratory experience is desirable, particularly in mammalian cell culture, microbial cell culture, spectroscopy and/or nanotechnology, but is not essential as training will be provided. This exciting project will give you a range of skills at the interface of biology and engineering, and between an academic institution and a government research lab. 

You will work in a vibrant, multidisciplinary team between the Medicine, Chemistry and Engineering departments at the University of Southampton, and in collaboration with the Dstl. You need to have at least a 2:1 or equivalent in a related undergraduate degree. 

The studentship will be funded at the current Research council stipend rate.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Nicholas Evans Bioengineering research group, Email: n.d.evans@soton.ac.uk  or phone +44 (0)23 8235 4980.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 27 May 2022 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £16,062 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2022/23, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor  Nick Evans 

Applications should include: 

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk 

Apply