EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD Studentship “DNP-enhanced Solid-state NMR Studies of Pharmaceuticals

Updated: 5 months ago
Location: Nottingham, SCOTLAND
Deadline: 31 Mar 2017

Closing Date
Friday, 31st March 2017

Dr Jeremy Titman, School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham
Dr Tran N. Pham, GSK

Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a powerful method for studying the molecular structure and dynamics of a broad range of systems from heterogeneous materials to biological molecules. In some situations solid-state NMR can suffer from low sensitivity, because of the small nuclear spin polarizations involved, so that long acquisition times or large sample volumes are required. However, weak NMR signals can be dramatically enhanced by dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), which involves transfer of electron spin polarization from radicals implanted in the sample to nearby nuclei. The substantial enhancements (up to 300-fold) obtained with DNP make NMR studies of dilute species feasible for the first time and have already prompted exciting new NMR applications to interfaces, porous materials and microcrystalline substances.

The University of Nottingham has recently established a DNP-enhanced solid-state NMR Facility funded by a grant of £2.5 M from EPSRC. In this collaboration with GSK DNP-enhanced solid-state NMR will be used to study pharmaceutical formulations and drug delivery systems. These are challenging systems to study by solid-state NMR because of the often low concentration of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). However, the substantial signal enhancements obtained with DNP will allow natural abundance investigations of changes to polymorphs or hydration states of APIs which occur on formulation and the interactions at the interfaces between APIs and excipients which include fillers, binders, lubricants and preservatives, as well as drug delivery vehicles.

The student will gain a detailed knowledge of both the theory and practice of solid-state NMR spectroscopy and experience of DNP-enhanced methods. Transferable skills in computer programming, data analysis and scientific communication will also be acquired.The position is fully funded for 4 years, via a studentship covering PhD tuition fees (at the Home/EU rate) and a tax-free stipend (£14,553 per annum). As part of the project the student will spend up to three months at the GSK Medicines Research Centre in Hertfordshire UK acquiring skills in formulation science and manufacturing samples.

Applications are invited from outstanding EU/UK students holding or expecting to gain a good undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Physics or a related subject. Prior experience in solid-state NMR is not essential. Apply online athttp://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/apply/apply-online.aspx by 31st March 2017. For informal enquiries please contact: Jeremy.Titman@nottingham.ac.uk

The solid-state NMR group at Nottingham works on the design of new solid-state NMR experiments and their application to chemistry, energy research, nanotechnology and environmental science. The group has two solid-state NMR spectrometers, operating at 1H Larmor frequencies of 300 and 600 MHz. A 600 MHz Dynamic Nuclear Polarization MAS NMR spectrometer was installed in Nottingham in November 2015. For more information about the solid-state NMR group see:http://www.solidstatenmr.org.uk/ The University of Nottingham is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world (QS World University Rankings).

The School values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.  The School of Chemistry holds a Bronze Athena SWAN Award in recognition of our commitment to advancing women's careers in science. You can read more about what this means at  http://www.athenaswan.org.uk/ and on our website http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/chemistry/about/athena-swan.aspx

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