A 3.5 year Faculty of Science funded PhD position is available in Lancaster University in the area of organometallic synthesis, starting in October 2023. The main objective of this PhD project is to develop a library of gold-carbene complexes beta-stabilised by N-heterocyclic ligands, one of the most privileged structures among pharmaceutical drugs in the market,and to investigate their catalytic and also biological activity, in the quest for novel metallodrugs that will overcome issues with current organic and organometallic leads (e.g. toxicity, potency, selectivity). Extension of the pyridine-containing complexes to other nitrogen containing heterocycles (quinolines, pyrimidines, isoquinolines) and study of the factors that control and contribute to the biological activity as antifungal, antimicrobial (with CO-ADD) and anticancer activity, and their specific interaction with different forms of DNA, will be studied experimentally and computationally in the group and through collaborators (with Dr. Zoë Waller, School of Pharmacy, University College London). The project will also aim to expand the application of the gold carbene complexes in asymmetric catalysis, either by synthesising the chiral complexes from enantiomerically enriched allenes, by chiral resolution of the racemic gold carbene complexes, or by exploiting the selective interaction of the racemic complexes with inherently chiral DNA structures towards novel DNA-asymmetric organometallic catalysis.


Lancaster University (UK)

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