PhD Studentship - Studying Drug Delivery Deep inside Tissues using Non-invasive Imaging Techniques

University of Southampton
Southampton, United Kingdom
Apr 11, 2021
May 31, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Supervisory Team: Prof Sumeet Mahajan (UoS), and Dr Diane Williamson (Dstl)

Project description

Drug delivery platforms are needed to target therapy to required locations and to improve its efficacy. However, key to developing and optimising such drug delivery platforms is the ability to monitor, visualise and evaluate them on their performance in vivo deep inside tissues. Currently techniques which can provide specific information on the drug delivery vehicles and the cargo, monitoring their fate over a prolonged period in cells/tissues but without any invasive procedures do not exist. Nano or micro particles comprise a promising platform technology that can be used to deliver a variety of drugs (both hydrophilic and hydrophobic) including anti-microbials. Label-free techniques such as Raman spectroscopy and coherent Raman imaging offer a non-invasive and non-destructive way to characterise and image such drug delivery platforms. In this project these approaches for intracellular and tissue imaging will be developed and used to answer questions exploring nano/micro particles as viable drug delivery systems. The research aligns with our recent EPSRC Transformative Healthcare 2050 grant to develop deep tissue imaging methods ( In this PhD project we want to develop the application for imaging drug delivery in ex vivo tissues, to thicker sections and ultimately in animal models in vivo .

Successful outcomes will have wide-ranging impact for pharma and field treatment methods; for development of drugs, drug delivery platforms for the treatment of infectious diseases and understanding pharmacological performance of current therapies e.g. insulin, corticosteroids, chemotherapies.

The project is part of a well-established collaboration between the University of Southampton and Dstl. The student will join the School of Chemistry at Southampton with access to state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories and be part of a dynamic research group ( The student will have the opportunity to work with leading Dstl scientists with a placement for >3 months with Dstl. The Dstl facilities include Imaging flow cytometry, micro-Computerised Tomography and In Vivo Imaging System (IVIS).

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof. Sumeet Mahajan, Email: , Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 3591.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent) in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioengineering and allied subjects/relevant disciplines. Enthusiasm to work in an interdisciplinary environment with a strong interest in analytical spectroscopy, novel microscopy and imaging techniques is highly desirable. Training in all areas of the PhD will be provided as well as opportunities for professional development will be available. All PhD students are encouraged and supported to participate in national and international conferences.

Closing date: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis till a suitable candidate is found but no later than 31st May 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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