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Development of new DNA-based asymmetric desymmetrisation processes

While proteins have been widely used in the field of asymmetric catalysis, there are only a few examples reported in the literature which involve nucleic acids. This is particularly noteworthy considering that the right-handed double helix of DNA is one of the most ubiquitous and elegant examples of chirality in nature.

While still in its infancy, the field of DNA-based asymmetric catalysis is rapidly expanding with studies dedicated to DNA secondary structures, DNA solvatation and to new anchoring strategies. In this context, we recently reported the first example of a left-helical enantioselective induction using L-nucleic acids that allowed a reliable and predictable access to both enantiomers for a given reaction (see Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 11546-11549). We also reported a fully recyclable cellulose-supported DNA-based catalyst that offers high levels of enantioselectivity on various Cu(II) catalyzed asymmetric reactions including Friedel-Crafts alkylations and Michael additions. Most importantly, this supported biohybrid catalyst could be implemented to a single-pass, continuous-flow process allowing to perform reactions on more synthetically useful scales (see Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 6076-6079).

In the present project, we wish to expend the scope of DNA-based asymmetric catalysis by developing new synthetic transformations with a special emphasis given to desymmetrisation processes. We also envision to apply these methods to the synthesis of biologicaly relevant natural products and analogues thereof.

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the Arseniyadis group at Queen Mary University of London. The position covers both tuition fees and a maintenance stipend. Candidates are expected to have a strong background and interest in synthetic organic chemistry. Prior experience in catalysis and multi-step synthesis is desirable but not required as the expertise of the group will provide an ideal training environment.

Please contact Dr Stellios Arseniyadis for more information. Also don’t hesitate to visit Dr Stellios Arseniyadis’ current group website for an overview of his research.

To apply, go to our online application page and send a complete CV and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and previous research experience.

Eligibility

Funding through CONACYT

We are looking for highly motivated students with a strong background in computational chemistry, physics and/or materials science. Previous experience in code development is highly desirable but not a prerequisite.

Applicant requirements are listed on the CONACYT foreign scholarship pages.

International students must provide evidence of proficient English language skills, see our entry requirements page for further information.

Funding through Ciência sem Fronteiras

We are looking for highly motivated students with a strong background in computational chemistry, physics and/or materials science. Previous experience in code development is highly desirable but not a prerequisite.

Applicants must be Brazilian nationals and are required to have at least an upper second class degree and a masters degree in either computational chemistry, physics and/or materials science from a top university anywhere in the world.

International students must provide evidence of proficient English language skills, see our entry requirements page for further information.

Self-funding

If you are interested in self-funding please contact Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero by email (r.crespo-otero@qmul.ac.uk) to discuss your eligibility for this project.

Application process

Funding through China Scholarship Council

Applications for 2015 entry have now closed. To express your interest in this project for 2016 please contact the project supervisor Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero by email (r.crespo-otero@qmul.ac.uk)

  1. Potential candidates should contact Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero by email (r.crespo-otero@qmul.ac.uk) to express their interest in applying.
  2. If she is interested in taking your application further you will be asked to submit a CV and a statement of purpose. Following this you will be asked to submit an application through the Queen Mary online application form.
  3. If you are successful we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from the China Scholarship Council.
  4. When you have received a conditional offer, apply directly to the China Scholarship Council.

Funding through CONACYT

  1. Potential candidates should contact Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero by email (r.crespo-otero@qmul.ac.uk) and submit their CV and a statement of purpose explaining their eligibility and interest in this project.
  2. Applications to Queen Mary are accepted all year round but we encourage you to contact Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero as soon as possible. If she agrees to take your application further you will be required to submit an online application.
  3. If you are successful we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from CONACYT.
  4. When you have received a conditional offer from us, you should apply directly to CONACYT.

Funding through Ciência sem Fronteiras

  1. Potential candidates should contact Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero by email (r.crespo-otero@qmul.ac.uk) and submit their CV and a statement of purpose explaining their eligibility and interest in this project.
  2. Applications to Queen Mary and Science without BorCiência sem Fronteiras are accepted all year round but we encourage you to contact Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero as soon as possible.
  3. If you are successful we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from Ciência sem Fronteiras.
  4. When you have received a conditional offer, apply directly to Ciência sem Fronteiras.

References:

Wang, J.; Benedetti, E.; Bethge, L.; Vonhoff, S.; Klussmann, S.; Vasseur, J. J.; Cossy, J.; Smietana, M.; Arseniyadis, S. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2013, 52, 11546-11549.

Benedetti, E.; Duchemin, N.; Bethge, L.; Vonhoff, S.; Klussmann, S.; Vasseur, J. J.; Cossy, J.; Smietana, M.; Arseniyadis, S. Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 6076-6079.

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