The Chemistry Department at UCL is one of the top-ranked departments in the UK and is committed to supporting excellence in both research and teaching. The Chemistry Department has over 60 members of academic staff carrying out world-leading research, with an annual research income of around £15 million, 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. A multidisciplinary research ethos is fully embedded in our activities in the Departments with highly innovative research programmes across Engineering and Bioscience Departments and elsewhere at UCL as well as nationally, internationally and with industry. We specialize in the areas of organic synthesis, chemical biology, and green synthetic strategies for molecular assembly including the discovery, enhancement, and use of biocatalysts. The incorporation of renewable feedstocks into our synthetic methodologies and plastics biodegradation is also of high priority. Details about our research can be found on the departmental website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/chemistry.
Fluorinated molecules have many applications across a range of scientific fields as the carbon-fluorine bond imparts useful properties, including altering the molecular shape. In this project we will take an interdisciplinary approach to establish sustainable routes to underexplored classes of fluorinated organic molecules. The research is highly interdisciplinary and the postholder will be required to synthesise substrates, perform biocatalytic reactions and determine reaction stereoselectivities, optimise reactions including via enzyme discovery or mutagenesis, and develop enzyme cascades. The postholder will work in an interdisciplinary environment so excellent team-working and communication skills will be required. The position is funded by the Leverhulme Trust for up to 36 months. The candidate will join the research groups of Helen Hailes and Tom Sheppard in the Department of Chemistry, and Jack Jeffries in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College Lond on. Information about the groups can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/chemistry/people/helen-hailes; https://www.tomsheppard.info; https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=JEFFR95; The Departments have international strengths in the development of new reaction methodologies, biocatalysis, synthetic biology and bioprocess research in the Industrial Biotechnology sector. Please note: this role requires the candidate to be working on-site >80% of the time.
The postholder will be required to carry out research on developing biocatalytic routes to fluorinated compounds. This will involve: (i) synthesising a range of substrates for use with enzymes in subsequent steps; (ii) establishing an exciting new approach to the enzymatic production of novel fluorinated compounds; (iii) carrying out enzyme discovery for use in biocatalytic reactions and enzyme mutagenesis to enhance yields and stereoselectivities; (iii) developing enzyme cascades and approaches to polyfluorinated molecules. The postholder will work in a multidisciplinary environment. They will also be expected to supervise PhD and Masters students, assisting experimentally with their research projects, where necessary, and reading drafts of reports and papers, as well as managing laboratory safety. Please note: this role requires the candidate to be working on-site >80% of the time.
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