Ph.D. student in Chemistry, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland

We have a vacancy for a PhD position at Department of Chemistry in Prof. Krishna K Damodaran’s group.

Title: Screening anti-cancer activity of organio-tin(IV) and rhodium)(II) compounds and evaluating the mode of action.

Project: Platinum based drugs have been important in the treatment of cancer for decades, but these compounds displayed side effects making it difficult to distinguish their toxicity towards cancer cells from cytotoxicity. This led to an upsurge in anti-cancer drugs based on other metals and we have tested organo-tin compounds based on phosphinoyldithioformate ligand, which were excellent anti-cancer agent (Cancer Research, 2018, 78, 2807-2807) and the organo-tin compounds showed higher activity than cisplatin. The successful candidate will synthesise and characterise complexes based on various ligands (amino acid) and rhodium(II)/tin(IV) compounds. The candidate should be able to switch between inorganic and biology labs due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project. The candidate will screen the anti-cancer activity at the Biomedical Centre in Prof. Helga M Ögmundsdóttir's lab and try to characterize the mode of action. In addition, the candidate will have an opportunity to get hands-on experience in X-ray crystallography, which will enable the candidate to utilise this expertise in associated research areas.

The PhD fellowship: The position is funded for 3 years but can be extended to 4 years, depending on the availability of funding. There is no tuition fee at the University of Iceland, only a nominal yearly registration fee, currently ISK 75,000.

Prof. Damodaran’s research group: For details visit https://uni.hi.is/krishna/research/

The candidate: We are looking for an intelligent, hardworking and enthusiastic PhD student to design, synthesize and characterize inorganic complexes and to test biological activities. The candidate should have an MSc. degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry, a good knowledge of organic and inorganic synthesis is preferred and interest for research at the interface with biochemistry will be beneficial due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project. Valuable skills include analytical and interdisciplinary thinking, initiative and motivation to excel, as well as the ability and interest to collaborate with other scientists. It is essential that the candidate have an excellent command of the English language, both written and spoken.

The application: Applications should be sent to Prof. Krishna K Damodaran by email (krishna@hi.is) by 1st December 2020 with the subject line "PhD application [Your Name]." The application should include i) an informal cover letter (max 2 page), outlining the motivation for applying to this program, ii) a CV, iii) scanned official transcripts from both undergraduate and graduate studies, and preferably iv) a documented TOEFL score for non-native English speakers. The candidate should arrange to have three letters of recommendation e-mailed directly to Prof. Damodaran by the individuals providing recommendation (the candidate´s name should be in the subject line), if shortlisted.