Development of Novel Alpha-helix Mimetics – PhD Studentship

Postgraduate Scholarship in Organic Chemistry Focusing on the Development of Novel Alpha-Helix Mimetics.

A funded PhD position is available in the field of Organic Chemistry in the laboratory of Dr Aniello Palma in the Supramolecular, Interfacial and Synthetic Chemistry (SISC) Group at the University of Kent (Canterbury campus).

Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) play a key role in many biological processes. The ability to control and modulate PPIs would allow us to (i) better understand complex biological systems, (ii) establish novel approaches for medical diagnostics of various diseases and (iii) develop novel therapeutics. Of particular interest to my research are PPIs mediated by alpha helices; these account for more than 60% of all known PPIs. The student working on this project will design and synthesise a new class of multi-facial alpha helix mimetics with the aim to disrupt Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs).

The successful candidate will develop a deep understanding of multi-step synthetic chemistry and will gain experience in a wide range of experimental and analytical techniques. This scholarship represents an ideal stepping stone towards a successful career in academia or industry.


This PhD Studentship is due to start in September-October 2020

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related subject. This project will either be funded as an EPSRC PhD scholarship or a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship. In either case funding will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils’ rate (currently £15,009; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,327 per annum).  The Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

Webpage(s): Dr Palma’s Kent webpage ; Palma Research Group webpage

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Aniello Palma at .

How to Apply: To apply please go to [] / [].

You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, personal statement, transcript of results, two academic references).

Deadline Date for Applications: 19th January 2020

Interviews to be held between: TBC