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ESR-7 Identification of novel anti-RSV inhibitors by a computer-based drug design approach (CU)

Project description
In this project, we aim to design a novel series of anti-RSV compounds using a series of computational methods, including both ligand-based and structure-based approaches. In particular, we will focus our attention to two viral proteins that are considered suitable targets for antiviral therapy: the viral F protein and the M2-1 protein. X-ray structures of both proteins are available and starting from these structures, we will use several computer-aided drug design methodologies to identify novel potential inhibitors. The most promising compounds will be then purchased or synthesised (depending on their commercial availability) and evaluated in cell-based assays (in collaboration with other network partners). The results obtained will be then used, along with the in silico model, in the design of a second generation of potential inhibitors.

The Network
This PhD position is part of the European training network ANTIVIRALS ( The candidate will benefit from the ANTIVIRALS network, which includes regular (scientific) network meetings and training in research methodology and complementary skills. This research project offers unique opportunities for establishing a broad and international scientific network with partners from the academic and industrial sector. The research project is performed in close collaboration with and partly at the premises of other institutions of the ANTIVIRALS network.

Host institute
Cardiff is in the top tier of The UK’s research universities and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group. World-leading research is conducted across every academic school. The University is among the top 5 in the UK in 14 research areas, and the top 10 in a further 11 areas. With a >26,000 student enrolled, it is the 12th largest university in UK. The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is one of the UK leading Pharmacy department, both in teaching and research. The School has a strong record of drug discovery and development of novel antiviral and anticancer compounds, with 3 agents currently at different stages of clinical evaluation.

Candidate found. Vacancy is closed.