- Type of research degree
- Application deadline
- Ongoing deadline
- Country eligibility
- International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
- Dr Zhan Ong
- School of Physics and Astronomy
- Research groups/institutes
- Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's, Molecular and Nanoscale Physics
Chronic wound infections are a significant and fast-growing global healthcare problem compounded by the widespread occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In the UK alone, annual healthcare costs associated with chronic wounds including diabetic wounds, pressure ulcers, and non-healing surgical wounds were estimated to be 5.3 billion pounds. Due to the polymicrobial nature and prevalence of biofilms in non-healing wounds, many existing therapies including surgical debridement, antibiotics therapy, and use of wound dressings are ineffective. This project aims to improve the treatment of chronic wound infections by developing novel gold nanoparticle-antimicrobial peptide conjugates (AuNP-AMPs) for the broad-spectrum, synergistic photothermal-antimicrobial chemotherapy of planktonic bacteria and biofilms. Key goals of this project include: (1) synthesis and characterisation of AuNP-AMPs with strong near infrared absorbance using a novel peptide-templated approach, (2) evaluation of the potential of combining broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities of conjugated AMPs with targeted photothermal ablation for the enhanced eradication of drug-resistant pathogens/biofilms, (3) demonstration of enhanced protease stability in conjugated AMPs and investigation of antimicrobial mechanisms of action, and (4) evaluation of in vitro biocompatibility. <br /> <br /> This project will suit a self-motivated student with a Pharmacy, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Biomedical or other relevant background. The student will gain hands-on experience in a wide range of interdisciplinary research skills such as nanoparticle synthesis, materials characterisation (e.g. TEM/SEM, XPS, and DLS) as well as mammalian and bacterial culture to address a major global health challenge in antimicrobial resistance. The student will benefit from working in a vibrant and multidisciplinary environment in the Bragg Centre for Materials Research as well as with staff and students from the Schools of Physics and Medicine at the University of Leeds.<br />
<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the <a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/research-applying/doc/applying-research-degrees">University's website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of study that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Physics & Astronomy FT</strong></em> and in the research information section that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <strong><em>Nanoparticle-based therapeutics to combat multidrug resistance and biofilms in chronic wound infections</em></strong> as well as <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/physics/staff/4120/dr-zhan-yuin-ong">Dr Zhan Ong</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul>
Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.
The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.
<main id="main"> <p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong> – The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/209-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2022">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/234-leeds-opportunity-research-scholarship-2022">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a> is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> – The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a> is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a> is available to nationals of China. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a> is available to support US citizens. <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong> Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <strong>not</strong> covered under these studentships.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p> </main>
<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions<br /> e: <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Zhan Ong<br /> e: <a href="mailto:Z.Y.Ong@leeds.ac.uk">Z.Y.Ong@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>