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Research Fellow:Organic Synthesis Bioluminescent Molecules



The Chemistry Department at UCL is one of the top-ranked departments in the UK, with 100% of its outputs ranked as being world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) in the recent REF2021. The Department is committed to supporting excellence in both research and teaching. The department offers undergraduate BSc and MSci programmes in Chemistry and currently teaches 700 undergraduates registered in Chemistry as well as students who select Chemistry on the Natural Sciences programme and first year Chemistry for life scientists. The Department also offers a number of Postgraduate Taught Masters courses with about 100 students per year. The Department has an overall PhD student school of around 200 students. The Chemistry Department has over 60 members of academic staff carrying out world-leading research. We specialise in areas of organic synthesis, chemical biology, computational chemistry, nanotechnology, inorganic and materials chemistry, physical chemistry and chemical physics. The department research income derived from many sources including UKRI (EPSRC, BBSRC, MRC, and NERC), European Commission and a wide range of charities and industrial partners in the UK, Europe and the USA. Details about our research can be found on the departmental website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/chemistry

About the role
The overall aim of this new project is to develop a molecular-level understanding of bioluminescence for the rational design of new bioluminescence tools for multicolor, deep-tissue imaging. The posthholder will be required to carry out research in the field of multi-step organic synthesis, developing new strategies for the synthesis of new bioluminescent molecules. The research will entail the design and implementation of novel synthetic sequences, and the identification and characterization of reaction products. They will play a key role in an interdisciplinary feedback loop between synthesis (this position), time resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (another position, supervised by Professor Helen Fielding, UCL) and computational chemistry (another position, supervised by Professor Graham Worth, UCL) and synthesis.

About you
The postholder will be primarily responsible for the synthesis of the light giving forms of known luciferins and analogues, their oxyluciferins, based on D-luciferin. The project will then move on to the synthesis of more complex analogues around the infraluciferin skeleton. Results from the physical measurements will inform the desing and synthesis of future targets. The oxyluciferins will be synthesized as discrete molecular entities or generated in situ from the parent luciferin. The postholder will contribute to other bioluminescent projects in the research group.

What we offer
Please note, appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at Research Assistant Grade 6B (salary £33,619 to £35,411 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We particularly welcome female applicants and those from ethnic minorities, as they are under-represented within UCL at this level


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