PhD Studentship A Chemical Biology Approach to Developing Cyclic Peptide Based Protacs

University of Southampton is offering PhD position in organic chemistry. The funds for this fellowship are available for 5 years. Applications are welcome before August 31, 2020.

The Tavassoli lab have pioneered methods for the generation and screening of cyclic peptide libraries. The approach, called SICLOPPS, has led to the identification and development of a number of first in class inhibitors; for a review see:

The aim of this project is to use cyclic peptides (peptides scholarships) discovered using SICLOPPS screening, in proteolysis targeting chimera molecules (PROTACs). PROTACs are a new and exciting class of therapeutic agents that promise to significantly impact drug discovery. This 3.5 year PhD project will combine the Tavassoli lab's expertise in identifying and developing cyclic peptide protein-protein interaction inhibitors with PROTAC development.

This is a unique opportunity to receive high-quality training in a range of disciplines, including synthetic chemistry, chemical biology and mammalian cell culture. The project will be conducted in the Tavassoli lab, which contains state of the art multidisciplinary laboratories, facilities and equipment.

The ideal candidate will have prior lab-based experience of chemical biology, cell culture and/or synthetic organic chemistry. However, experience in all these areas isn't essential, and appropriate training will be provided to the successful candidate as part of their PhD.

Please feel free to contact Ali by email ali1(at) if you have any questions or would like to discuss the opportunity informally (please include your CV).

: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2020-21 "PhD Chemistry (Full time)" as the programme. Please enter Ali Tavassoli under the proposed supervisor.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in Chemistry. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science we were awarded an Athena SWAN Silver award in 2014 a and a second Silver award in 2017. Chemistry gives full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy*, onsite childcare facilities. For further information please visit

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