Native mass spectrometry for the discovery of new anticancer agents

Lead Supervisor: Neil Oldham 

A 4-year fully funded BBSRC PhD CASE studentship is available at the University of Nottingham in collaboration with Erebagen Ltd to screen engineered bacterial natural product libraries for anti-cancer activity using native mass spectrometry. This exciting project is supervised by Prof Neil Oldham and Dr Luisa Ciano, from the School of Chemistry, and Dr Doug Roberts and Prof Greg Challis from Erebagen. It will provide training in biosynthetic engineering using state-of-the-art facilities as well as development of a mass spectrometry-based assay for detection of binding to the target protein, the human elongation factor eEF1A. This will be followed by structural characterisation of hit compounds, initially by coupled tandem mass spectrometry, and then complementary spectroscopic techniques. 

 If you are a motivated and passionate individual with a background in chemistry, biochemistry, or related fields, and are eager to make a significant contribution to the fields of natural products and screening of bioactives we encourage you to apply. PhD candidates joining this project will benefit from state-of-the-art research facilities, expert supervision, and the opportunity to engage with industry partners to translate their research findings into real-world impact. 

 BBSRC DTP students at the University of Nottingham benefit from a comprehensive training programme in research-related techniques to support their project and provide key transferable skills for a career in research. 

 For informal enquiries, please contact Prof Neil Oldham (  

Check your eligibility and apply here

 Funding details:

  • This opportunity is open to both Home and International students. Funding is available for four years from October 2024.
  • The award covers tuition fees at the home rate (currently £4712) plus an annual stipend (currently £18,622 for 2023/2024). This is set by the Research Councils. 

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 8466946