UK: PhD Studentship in Pharmacy at University of Reading

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Project Overview:   

This project will explore the effects of chirality on drug diffusion through skin.  Transdermal drug delivery is attractive since drugs can reach the systemic circulation whilst avoiding first pass hepatic metabolisms but the excellent barrier properties of skin limits the range of drugs that can be effectively administered by this route.

Chiral molecules have optical isomers, or enantiomers, whose mirror images are non-superimposable.  Chemically and physically identical, enantiomers often have differing biological properties and, for drugs, one enantiomer can be therapeutically efficacious whilst the other may be harmful.  A single enantiomeric form of a drug can transform to the racemic mix.

This project will span from synthetic organic chemistry through to chiral separations, characterisation of materials using state-of-the-art analytical techniques, formulation development and in vitro testing in tissues and cell-based assays.  There are also opportunities for a placement at the partner company working to the rigorous quality standard in a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.  Thus, the project offers broad training opportunities supported by a large group of graduate and postgraduate researchers and expert technicians.


  • Applicants should hold a UK honours degree at 2:1 level or above, or equivalent qualification, in Pharmacy, Chemistry or a suitably related subject.
  • Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.

Funding Details:

Three year programme from October 2014 covering fees and stipend

How to apply:   

To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Pharmacy at

*Important note* Please quote the reference ‘GS14-15’  in the ‘Scholarships applied for’ box which appears within the Funding Section of your on-line application.

Application Deadline:  14 March 2014

Further Enquiries: 

Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.

For further details please contact Prof A.C. Williams, Professor of Pharmaceutics, Reading school of Pharmacy;

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