Newcastle University PhD students are looking at delivering therapeutics through toothpaste, backed by business funding as part of the CASE (Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering) Studentship scheme.
Dr Matt German of the School of Dental Sciences explains: “Through the CASE Studentship scheme we bring together some of our PhD students with industrial partners. The PhD research is then closely linked to the real-world needs of the partner.”
Currently Dr German is supervising PhD students who are linked with GSK, the pharmaceuticals giant. Students will mainly be based at Newcastle University but will also spend several months at GSK’s own research facilities.
By the end of the three-year programme the PhD students will have contributed towards a technological development which may be commercialised by GSK.
“Students can get the best of both worlds,” says Dr German. “Industrial partners often have facilities that universities would not have – such as manufacturing pilot plants and access to industrial-scale testing. On the other hand, Newcastle University has advantages that few companies could match, including access to a working dental hospital and state-of-the-art laboratories.”
CASE Studentships are particularly attractive for researchers who see their long-term future in a commercial environment. The Studentship allows them to build excellent contacts within industry that could help them move on to a rewarding career after they have achieved their PhD.
Dr German concludes: “When Newcastle University and industrial partners work together there is a synergistic relationship which can lead to successful commercialisation and benefits for everyone involved.”
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