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Durham University

Department of Chemistry

News / Twitter

EPSRC CDT in Molecular Sciences for Medicine at Durham

(4 February 2019)

Durham University and Newcastle University were awarded over £5 million of Centre of Doctoral Training (CDT) funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), to train 60 PhD students during the next 9 years in Molecular Sciences for Medicine (MoSMed). The programme, harnessing Durham’s expertise in physical sciences with Newcastle’s incisive biomedical approach, provides a unique offering, both scientifically and for the student experience. Their research is focussed on finding new and complimentary approaches to understand the molecular biology of diseases, and to develop novel therapies and tools for combating cancer and infectious diseases. The student training programme aims to ensure the next generation of UK researchers are equipped with the specialist skills required for working at the interface between molecular sciences and medicine. 


The Durham team is led by Dr Ehmke Pohl (Chemistry) with Dr Steven Cobb (Chemistry) and Dr. Paul Denny (Department of Biosciences, Durham). Dr Pohl, Co-director of the CDT, commented: “I feel that this type of mutually supportive, cross-institutional and cross-sectoral collaboration holds the key to a thriving academic future in the UK and beyond.”

The MosMed project is a response to the pending shortage of skilled researchers as highlighted in the current UK Life Science Industrial Strategy. The need for this CDT is clear: the Life Sciences sector contributed over £30bn to the economy in 2015, and either directly or indirectly, supports close to half a million jobs in the UK. A particular strength of the MoSMed programme is its coupling of academic insights and rigour with practical industry-based expertise. 

Over 20 biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and related sector partners from the UK and Europe will provide co-supervision and industrial placements. The students will have access to experts from across the Northeast; ASTEX, Bruker, Boehringer, Bayer, CRB, Arcinova, and others, along with use of larger-scale facilities provided by e.g. Diamond in the UK, ESRF in France, and MAXIV in Lund. 

For further information and applications: