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PhD Studentship: Phase behavior of antibodies and antibody-derived molecules in liquid formulations

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The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester

Supervisor: Dr Robin Curtis

Antibodies or antibody-derived products comprise the fastest growing market of biopharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, there are many bottlenecks towards their efficient and cost-effective manufacturing. A key stumbling block is due to the need for liquid formulations at high protein concentrations, where encountered problems include phase separation, opalescence, and high viscosities. The overall aim of this project is to develop methods for predicting the concentrated solution behaviour from measurements made on samples at low protein concentrations. This is essential for Formulation Development at the early stages after drug discovery when there is limited amount of the therapeutic available. The emphasis is on elucidating the molecular determinants of protein phase separation and developing theoretical methods for quantifying concentrated solution behaviour. The project involves an international collaboration between MedImmune, University of Manchester and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware (ranked as a top 5 department internationally). The student will have the opportunity for extended visits to all institutions (including University of Delaware), where they will receive training in state of the art methodologies and theories developed at the interface between academia and industry. The candidate will have a strong foundation in biophysical characterization and analytical tools for quantifying protein solution behaviour (eg thermodynamics, rheology). The project is ideal for anyone interested in a career in biopharmaceutical research and development, either in an academic or an industrial setting.

The funding for this 3.5 year project covers fees at the Home student rate and enhanced annual stipend in excess of the Research Council minimum of £14,296 per annum. Funding for this project is only available to UK citizens or those who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more.

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in biochemical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry (physical, analytical, or macromolecular chemistry), biophysics, pharmaceutical, biomedical or life sciences or related discipline. If you wish to apply for this project, please choose ‘PhD Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science’ from the list of available programmes. 

Application link: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate/howtoapply/

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Source: Jobs.ac.uk

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