New antimicrobials and biofilm eradication agents

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Associate Professor Kathryn Fairfull-Smith
Future Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Bacteria can readily adhere to the surface of synthetic materials and form a biofilm. This makes it much more difficult to combat than circulating bacteria due to their extreme resistance to antibiotics.

Thus, biofilms are of particular concern in the healthcare system, as they can increase infection rates by contaminating medical devices, delay chronic wound healing and contribute to tooth decay.

This project aims to design, develop and evaluate new antimicrobial compounds active against biofilms.

Research activities

This project will provide you with the opportunity to develop synthetic skills in organic chemistry and instrumental experience associated with compound characterisation.

Such instrumental experience includes:

  • nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
  • high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • mass spectrometry (MS)
  • infrared spectroscopy (IR).


As a result of this project we will synthesise several new compounds and have each of these compounds adequately characterised.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this project you should be studying, or have studied, a bachelor of science with a chemistry major. You should also have an interest in medical chemistry.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.