PhD Studentship in Pharmacy and Optometry, Cardiff University, UK

Cardiff University


November 13, 2015



Opportunity Cover Image - PhD Studentship in Pharmacy and Optometry, Cardiff University, UK

PhD Studentship in Pharmacy and Optometry, Cardiff University

Project title: Novel drug therapy for mitochondrial optic neuropathy

There is a pressing need to identify novel molecules with significantly greater electron transport chain potency for patients with mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria are central players in the life and death of cells and especially of neurons. Within the brain, the retina ranks amongst the highest energy-consuming systems and the energy-dependence of neurons in the retina is particularly striking. Consequently, strategies to modulate mitochondrial function using small molecules with a view to restore energy production and/or reduce levels of oxidative stress are a promising approach for the treatment of mitochondrial diseases.

This multidisciplinary project involves the development of new chemical structures which will be targetted to mitochondria. Consequently, the work comprises drug design using molecular modelling, synthesis and purification of the identified leads and evalution in a range of bioassays including a model of autosomal dominant optic atrophy. Finally the work will focus on drug delivery aspects to ensure optimal targetting of mitochodria.>

Located within Cardiff University, this project is a collaboration between two world class research departments: School of Optometry & Vision Sciences and School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. It is envisaged that equal amounts of time will be spent working in each school, spending time in a number of dynamic groups.

Supervisors: Dr Charles Heard, Dr Andrea Brancale, Prof. Marcela Votruba, Dr Malgorzata Rozanowska

Start date: January 2016

Number of Studentships: 1


This studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,057 p.a. for 2015/16, updated each year).

One studentship is available.


Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students without further restrictions.

Academic criteria: Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a 2.1 degree or higher in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmacy. Applications are particularly welcome from applicants who can demonstrate a track record in one or more of the areas mentioned.

The successful candidate will acquire a range of valuable expertise and knowledge in the skills required to probe and exploit optimised mitochondria targeting.

How to Apply

Consideration is automatic on applying for PhD in Pharmacy (Full-time), with a start date of January 2016 via Cardiff University's Online Application Service. In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from School funding.

The deadline for applications is 13 November 2015.

Cardiff University reserves the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Wendy Davies at or +44 (0)29 2087 6419.

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Publish Date
October 21, 2015
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