Home

Research

Group

Publications

Recent projects

Job opportunities

PhD studentship

Community-wide exposure routes and risks from environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals

Closing Date:   28th February 2014
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Salary:  
The project is funded by Leverhulme Trust

This studentship will cover full Home tuition fees and provide an annual maintenance payment (tax-free stipend) of 13,726 (2013/14 rate) for 3 years.

Eligibility: Owing to funding restrictions, applicants must satisfy the Leverhulme Trust residency requirements and should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum Class 2.1 (Hons) (or equivalent) degree in Chemistry or a relevant related discipline.

 

Project description: Pharmacologically active compounds (PACs) are unregulated environmental pollutants. They enter the environment mainly through sewage and sludge. They are bioactive, ubiquitous and persistent with synergistic properties. Surprisingly, the environmental risks of PACs are assessed without taking into consideration their enantiomeric forms (this is despite enantiomer dependant toxicity of PACs to humans, taking thalidomide as a prominent example). Such an approach could lead to an under- or over-estimation of toxicity of PACs, incorrect environmental risk assessment (ERA), and direct risk to the environment and human health, as PACs are likely to be present in the environment in their non-racemic forms.

Stricter regulation of PACs in water is envisaged . A full understanding of the fate and effects of PACs is therefore of crucial importance to the water sector. This project will address the above concerns and it will aim at an introduction of new, comprehensive Environmental Risk Assessment approaches utilising novel (bio)analytical, enantioselective and mass spectrometry based chemical analysis combined with bioassays for toxicity testing.

One of our 3.5-year NERC-GW4+ studentships in Earth Sciences. For more information on the NERC GW4 doctoral training partnership, see: http://www.bris.ac.uk/gw4plusdtp/

For further information go to: PhD studentship - TOX-ECD

 

Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Urban water profiling for community-wide human exposure assessment from environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals in personal care and consumer products

Closing Date:   31 March 2014
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Salary:   Starting from 30,728, rising to 36,661

 

Project description: Applications are invited for a Post-doctoral Research Fellow position in Environmental Chemistry to work on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project to study human exposure from environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals in personal care and consumer products.

 

Endocrine disruptors (EDCs) disturb hormonal regulation and the normal endocrine system. Unfortunately there is limited understanding of human exposure to these environmental stressors. Novel approaches are needed to identify cause-effect relationships between EDCs and humans. This highly exploratory multi-disciplinary project will introduce a new tool for real-time verification of community-wide exposure to EDCs in personal care and consumer products(e.g. plasticizers, UV-filters, antimicrobials) via the analysis of human biomarkers in urban water. The ultimate goal of TOX-ECD is to evaluate the direct exposure of populations to EDCs at a given time and location in the context of their wider environmental occurrence.

 

The post will focus on the development of new methods forthe analysis of EDCs including chiral chromatography and mass spectrometry and their application in the assessment of exposure to EDCs and patterns of community-wide domestic use and disposal of EDCs. The successful candidate will join and will be expected to become an active member of an interdisciplinary environmental chemistry research team based in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath and will work closely with a PhD student also funded by the TOX-EDC research programme.

 

Additional notes: This position is part of TOX-ECD research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust and is available from August 2014 for the period of three years.

 

The successful candidate will have, or expects to have very shortly, a PhD in Chemistry or a related discipline and experience in environmental analysis including chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques.

For further information go to: PDRA - TOX ECD

 

PhD studentship

Life-cycle of medicinal products in urban water: new (bio)analytical approaches and environmental risk assessment

Closing Date:   28th February 2014
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Salary:  
The project is funded by NERC and Wessex Water.

The studentship will cover full tuition fees and provide an annual maintenance payment (tax-free stipend) of about 13,726 (at the 2013/14 rate) for 3.5 years.

 

Eligibility: Owing to funding restrictions, applicants must satisfy the NERC's UK residency requirements and should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum Class 2.1 (Hons) (or equivalent) degree in Chemistry or a relevant related discipline.

 

Project description: This exciting NERC funded CASE studentship opportunity results from an innovative and multi-disciplinary research and knowledge exchange collaboration between Wessex Water and the University of Bath.

The main objective of the project is to develop novel analytical and bioanalytical approaches for comprehensive environmental risk assessment of pharmacologically active compounds (PACs). These compounds are currently being reviewed in relation to the EU Water Framework Directive with respect to the establishment of new legislation for discharge of treated water, or quality of water being recycled.

PACs are currently unregulated environmental pollutants. They are bioactive, ubiquitous, and persistent with synergistic properties. Surprisingly, the environmental risks of PACs are currently assessed without taking into account their enantiomeric forms (this is in spite of the potential for enantiomer dependant toxicity of PACs to humans, thalidomide being an infamous example). The current approach could lead to an under- or over-estimation of toxicity of PACs, incorrect environmental risk assessment (ERA), and direct risk to the environment and human health, as PACs are likely to be present in the environment in their non-racemic forms.

Usage of PACs continues to increase due to an ageing population in western countries and an increase in consumption of pharmaceuticals in the developing world. Urban water and its users are at the highest risk of exposure. With a growing population and changing climate, an understanding of the life-cycle of PACs is vital to provide safe sustainable water resource management solutions for future generations. Stricter regulation of PACs in water is envisaged, for example via the EU Water Framework Directive. A full understanding of the fate and effects of PACs is therefore of crucial importance to the water sector.

This novel cutting-edge Environmental Risk Assessment approach will combine both exposure-driven and effect-driven research methods (at enantiomeric level). The exposure-driven approach will utilise chemical analysis to determine transformation kinetics of PACs and the formation of potentially toxic metabolites and transformation by-products. The effect-driven approach will utilise toxicity testing at different trophic levels to verify the development of toxicity of PACs (or a mixture of PACs and metabolites).

The research student will receive extensive training in a range of modern analytical and bioanalytical techniques including cutting-edge state-of-the-art chiral chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry techniques. In addition he/she will work with the leading water utility company in the UK, Wessex Water. Experience of academic / industrial research and development at the cutting edge of water quality analysis, and development of legislation and water policy, will provide an exciting opportunity for further personal development. The student will also benefit from the innovative and multi-disciplinary research cultures being developed in the newly funded EPSRC Centre for Doctoral training in Water Informatics: Science and Engineering, and the newly established NERC Doctoral training Partnership in Environmental Sciences.

 

For further information go to: PhD studentship - Life cycle

 

Dr Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, University of Bath, Department of Chemistry, Bath BA2 &AY, UK, mailto:B.Kasprzyk-Hordern@bath.ac.uk