Research course

Chemical Biology and Bio-Medicinal Chemistry

Open University · Department of Life Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) or an appropriate first degree and postgraduate qualification

Months of entry


Course content

Chemical biology and bio-medicinal chemistry research at the OU encompasses the development and synthesis of molecules for cell recognition, imaging and targeting of cancer cells (for example, using photodynamic therapy), and the development of small molecule therapeutics. It is our aim to use chemical and biochemical approaches to study and manipulate biological systems, and to inform the development of new therapeutic agents.

Key themes of our research include:

  • Bio-medicinal chemistry for cancer, focusing on the synthesis of molecules for cell recognition, modification of nucleic acid bases, and the design of novel small molecule therapeutics
  • Chemo-enzymatic synthesis of complex carbohydrates, focusing on the use of enzymatic methods and engineering of these catalysts to access complex and uniquely modified sugars
  • Molecular imprinted polymers, focusing on the development of novel systems for functional analysis of complex biomolecules.
Current/recent research projects:
  • Design of novel radio-sensitizers.
  • Applications of nanoparticles in cancer therapy.
  • Photodynamic therapy for targeting of cancer cells.
  • Development and analysis of recognition polymers for analysis of complex biomolecules.
  • Chemo-enzymatic synthesis of complex and modified carbohydrate structures.

Potential supervisors:

Department specialisms

Probing the interactions between pathogens and cell surface carbohydrates Development of hybrid molecular imprinted polymers for protein detection and modification

Fees and funding

For detailed information on current fees visit: Fees and funding

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
48 months


part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036