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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

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PhD Studentship - Understanding of the impact of manufacturing processes on the physical and chemical stability of synthetic peptides (Fixed Term)

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Feb 07, 2017.

In collaboration with MedImmune, the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies and Applications is inviting applications for a fully funded 1+3 years MRes + PhD studentship commencing in October 2017.

The 4-year PhD studentship is available at the University of Cambridge working with Dr Sophie Jackson in the Department of Chemistry. The student will be enrolled in the Sensor CDT which has a yearly intake of around ten students. The first year involves a highly interdisciplinary programme consisting of lectures, practicals and research projects covering a wide range of technologies and applications in sensing and imaging. Successful completion of the first year will lead to a Master of Research qualification (MRes) and optimal preparation for the PhD phase in years 2-4.

The aim of this research project is to characterise chemical and organic impurities arising during the manufacture of biological therapeutic drugs under different process conditions exploring the relationship between these impurities and the physical stability of the peptide. A major objective will be to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying gel and fibril formation of peptide therapeutics 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 peptide drug. The project will involve many biophysical techniques including mass spectrometry, fluorescence-based methods, kinetic assays, atomic force microscopy amongst many others. There will also be some (but not extensive) peptide synthesis.

Applicants should have a First Class or a high 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline such as chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics or any related subject.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Sophie Jackson (sej13@cam.ac.uk).

To apply for this studentship visit: http://cdt.sensors.cam.ac.uk/how-to-apply. Please note that, due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only available to UK and EU applicants.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

Applicants should ensure their application is complete and submitted by 5pm on the closing date.

Please quote reference NQ11386 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

PhD Studentship - Using Terahertz Spectroscopy to Explore the Properties of Biopharmaceutical Formulations for Solid-State Processing - Sensor CDT/MedImmune (Fixed Term)

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Jan 24, 2017.

A fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship is available at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge working with Dr Axel Zeitler in collaboration with MedImmune. The student will be enrolled in the Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies and Applications which has a yearly intake of around ten students. The first year involves a highly interdisciplinary program consisting of lectures, practicals and research projects covering a wide range of technologies and applications in sensing and imaging. Successful completion of the first year will lead to a Master of Research qualification (MRes) and optimal preparation for the PhD phase in years 2-4.

The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly turning to complex mixtures for their formulations in order to increase stability, efficacy, and bioavailability.

Recent advances have highlighted that protein-sugar dispersions are a potential new route for advanced dosage forms. Yet such designs suffer from the same preparative issues that most new formulations have, that is understanding how to efficiently manufacture the product to maximise stability and efficacy. But unlike their small-molecule (and often mono-disperse) counterparts, such mixtures are difficult to analyse in situ because of the complexity of the interactions present.

Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) is a powerful tool for the non-destructive extraction of important parameters from solid materials, such as amorphous stability, molecular mobility, and intermolecular interaction strengths. It is a valuable technique for the characterisation of amorphous stability via the measurement of the strength of the intramolecular relaxation process, which can be directly linked to the stability of amorphous mixtures. Additionally, recent studies have used THz-TDS to obtain detailed mechanical (elastic) data of a crystalline polypeptide, highlighting the ability to understand how certain interactions lead to bulk mechanical properties. Such analyses are critical for understanding the dynamics of pharmaceutical mixtures, since a complete picture regarding the molecular arrangements can have profound implications for drug formulation and delivery, i.e. how to best manufacture and store the material.

This project aims to extend the utility of THz-TDS for the characterisation of protein-drug mixtures, in order to better understand how protein structure, specifically secondary structure, affects the solid-state dynamics and bulk properties.

The terahertz applications group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology runs a successful internationally leading research program in terahertz technology (http://thz.ceb.cam.ac.uk).

Applicants should have a First Class (or a high 2:1) degree in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, physics, chemistry, or engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to formally apply for admission through the University's Graduate Admissions Office and meet any conditions of admission they set forth.

To apply for this studentship: Please email a detailed curriculum vitae (to include numerical details of grades obtained in relevant examinations) to: recruitment@ceb.cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference NQ11246 - UK/EU Studentship: Terahertz Applications Group on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy. Informal enquires can be directed to Dr Axel Zeitler (jaz22@cam.ac.uk); please do not send applications to Dr Zeitler's email address.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

Applicants should ensure their application is complete and submitted by 5pm on the closing date.

Please quote reference NQ11246 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

PhD Studentship Terahertz Spectroscopy/Imaging for Monitoring Realtime Transport in Catalyst Materials (Fixed Term)

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Jan 19, 2017.

A 4-year, fully funded PhD studentship (EPSRC iCASE award with Johnson Matthey) is available in the Terahertz Applications Group working with Dr Axel Zeitler on Terahertz spectroscopy/imaging for monitoring real time transport in catalyst materials. Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to students who meet the eligibility criteria of the UK Research Councils: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

To date we have developed a non-destructive and fast imaging method, based on terahertz (THz) pulsed imaging (TPI) that is able to resolve rapid one dimensional mass transport in catalysis pellets. This project will continue to develop the THz method for studying solvents, especially water, in catalyst materials. The project will explore the effect of chemical composition, pretreatment and microstructure of the catalyst pellet on the mass transport characteristics relevant to catalyst preparation routes. We would then plan to look at drying kinetics, wetting (e.g. impregnation/washcoating) and wicking. Furthermore, we would investigate the use of THz spectroscopy/imaging as a method for determining catalyst porosity, non-destructively and quickly. The method aims to provide greater understanding of catalyst preparation processes, and evidence for the potential of a THz tool for online monitoring of the manufacturing process, e.g. online monitoring of catalyst coating thickness in pan coating.

Terahertz radiation has excellent potential to help with the understanding of fundamental and exciting new challenges at the interface between physics, materials chemistry and the life sciences but it is, as yet, largely unexplored. Light located in this range of the electromagnetic spectrum was very difficult to generate until quite recently. Since the 1990s new developments in semiconductor physics and femtosecond laser technology have made it possible to provide light at terahertz frequencies (a frequency of 1 THz equals a wavelength of 0.3 mm) in a relatively simple way. Terahertz radiation has unique properties in that it easily penetrates through most polymeric materials and is therefore an exciting new tool to study such materials, which are often opaque at visible frequencies.

In addition to the experimental work using terahertz spectroscopy and imaging in our laboratory, there will be opportunities to explore the microstructure of catalyst pellets with the X-ray microtomography equipment available in our group as a complementary measurement technique to help better understand the structure of the samples Related publications: [1] J. Obradovic et al., Polymer. 48, 3494 (2007). [2] S. Yassin et al., J. Pharm. Sci. 104, 1658 (2015).

The terahertz applications group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology runs a successful internationally leading research program in terahertz technology http://thz.ceb.cam.ac.uk/ .

Applicants should have a First Class (or a high 2:1) degree in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, physics, chemistry, or engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to formally apply for admission through the University's Graduate Admissions Office and meet any conditions of admission they set forth.

To apply for this studentship: Please email a detailed curriculum vitae (to include numerical details of grades obtained in relevant examinations) to: recruitment@ceb.cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference NQ11217 - UK/EU Studentship: Terahertz Applications Group on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy. Informal enquires can be directed to Dr Axel Zeitler (jaz22@cam.ac.uk); please do not send applications to Dr Zeitler's email address.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

Applicants should ensure their application is complete and submitted by 5pm on the closing date.

Please quote reference NQ11217 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Research Assistant/Associate - Magnetic Resonance Studies and Molecular Modelling of The Role of Competitive Adsorption in Bio-Catalysis (Fixed Term)

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Feb 09, 2017.

A 12-month Research Assistant/Associate position is available in Prof Lynn Gladden's group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The project is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge, the Cambridge CREATE Campus, C4T, in Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The post-holder will be expected to spend significant periods of time in Singapore working with research partners.

The project is funded by National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore.

The group has pioneered the use of magnetic resonance in application to characterising competitive adsorption processes in heterogeneous catalysis. In this project we wish to extend the use of this approach to study bio-catalytic conversions. The NMR data will be used to help develop and validate molecular simulations of the same bio-catalytic processes and test these predictions against real catalytic data. The post-holder will focus on the acquisition of NMR data but is welcome, and indeed encouraged, to interact strongly with the researchers focusing on modelling and catalyst development.

More information about the Department and Group can be found here: http://www.ceb.cam.ac.uk/research/groups/rg-catalysis

For an informal discussion about the post please contact Prof Lynn Gladden lfg1@cam.ac.uk

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants should ensure their application is complete and submitted by midnight on the closing date.

Please quote reference NQ11402 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Research Assistant/Associate High Spatial Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Porous Materials (Fixed Term)

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Feb 09, 2017.

A Research Assistant/Research Associate position is available for 3 years,in Prof Lynn Gladden's group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology starting no later than 1 October 2017. The project is sponsored by Shell.

Applicants should have previous experience in MRI or compressed sensing and image reconstruction techniques. The project is based in Cambridge but the PDRA will interact with collaborators in Shell and Imperial College, London.

There is increasing interest in being able to optimise and design chemical process operations in silico. To achieve this, it is important to construct and design models which incorporate the correct physics and chemistry. Currently when characterising the structure of a porous material, X-ray tomography gives the highest spatial resolution. However, X-ray methods cannot give insights into properties such as changing surface chemistry within the porous materials, and the flow and diffusion characteristics of molecules moving within the pore structure. In contrast, magnetic resonance techniques have the ability to make chemically-specific measurements of adsorption, diffusion and flow but the spatial resolution that can be achieved is 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than is obtained with X-rays.

The aim of this project is to use the latest techniques in data under-sampling and compressed sensing to increase the spatial resolution of MRI experiments. Our target is to achieve at least an order of magnitude increase in spatial resolution whilst still being able to encode the image voxels with information of molecule-surface interactions, diffusion and flow. The methods we develop will initially be optimised for characterisation of rock cores but will be transferable to other porous media in engineering and medical applications.

Another aspect of the work will be to visualise the imaging data acquired and to explore data fusion techniques to merge these data with data recorded from other imaging techniques such as X-rays. The long-term objective of the work is to explore how the MRI datasets we acquire can be used in combination with X-ray tomography data for use in predictive modelling of flow in rocks cores.

Further information about the Department and Prof Gladden's group is available here: http://www.ceb.cam.ac.uk/research/groups/rg-catalysis

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Prof Lynn Gladden lfg1@cam.ac.uk

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants should ensure their application is complete and submitted by midnight on the closing date.

Please quote reference NQ11404 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.