SEROFLUO: Development of Chemical Probes for Serotonin Receptors of Interest for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Project Description

The Serofluo project is an international collaborative project proposed by academic researchers at the University of Caen (UniCaen) and the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham (UoN). The expertise of both groups in the development of novel ligands for G-Protein-Coupled Receptors of therapeutic interest will be used to identify novel chemotypes through screening of both in-house chemical compound libraries towards serotonin receptors (5-HTRs), which are essential mediators of many biological and neurological systems. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, novel chemical probes, and more specifically fluorescent ligands will be designed and synthesized, and subsequently characterised pharmacologically. Currently, sub-type selective chemical biology tools of this kind do not exist for the 5-HTRs, thus are of great interest to the scientific community. Finally, these novel ligands will be evaluated in vitro as potential pharmacological tools to treat neurodegenerative diseases. The proposed work during this PhD will be mainly devoted to the synthesis of novel druggable 5-HTR ligands. These novel biological tools will be used in a fluorescence-based 5-HTR screening exercise to identify novel hit ligands from in-house chemical compound libraries at both institutions. Following validation of the hits, they will undergo resynthesis and in vitro pharmacological characterisation. The PhD student will benefit from excellent training environments at both institutions and from the graduate school of research XL-Chem.

Funding Information

Students of UK and other EU nationalities are eligible to apply. The work will be shared in two periods of 18 months starting in Caen before completion in Nottingham. For the period spend at the University of Caen, the student should pay study fees. For the period spent at Nottingham University, study fees and a tax-free stipend at the standard UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) doctoral stipend rate will apply.

Funded studentships in both the UK and France starting 2020/21. Nottingham Tuition Fee subject to change if starting 2021/22 onwards.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have a very good knowledge of the English language, with an IELTS score of 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each element) or equivalent (French Baccalaureat General or OIB).

Application Process

Interested candidates for the position should send their CV, motivation letter, and two recommendation letters as well as scans of transcripts to the following emails:
[email protected] and [email protected]

To apply for this PhD, please email

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