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Chemical biology and bio-medicinal chemistry

Studying Chemical biology and bio-medical chemistry with The Open University Chemical biology and bio-medicinal chemistry research at the OU encompasses the development and synthesis of molecules for cell recognition, imaging and targeting of cancer cells and the development of small molecule therapeutics. It is our aim to use chemical and biochemical approaches to study and manipulate biological systems, and to inform the development of new therapeutic agents.
Key themes of our research include:
  • Bio-medicinal chemistry for cancer, focusing on the synthesis of molecules for cell recognition, modification of nucleic acid bases, and the design of novel small molecule therapeutics
  • Bioimaging
  • Biopolymers and biocompatible materials
  • Molecular imprinted polymers, focusing on the development of novel systems for functional analysis of complex biomolecules
  • Nanomaterials and nanomedicine; interactions with biological systems and therapeutic uses

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) or an appropriate first degree and postgraduate qualification

Potential research projects

  • Probing the interactions between pathogens and cell surface carbohydrates
  • Development of hybrid molecular imprinted polymers for protein detection and modification

Current/recent research projects

  • Design of novel radio-sensitizers
  • Applications of nanoparticles in cancer therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy for targeting of cancer cells
  • Development and analysis of recognition polymers for analysis of complex biomolecules
  • Chemo-enzymatic synthesis of complex and modified carbohydrate structures

Potential supervisors

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 655808

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.