PhD position available for EU students


Deadline for applications for September entry: Friday 21 July 2017

We propose to explore a new approach to the production and recovery of high value VFAs from organic waste streams. These intermediates, which are traditionally synthetized chemically from petroleum sources, have extensive commercial applications for production of various bio-based products, such as biofuels, biochemicals, polymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates, feeds and pharmaceuticals. Our approach involves combining: i) a novel mixed culture anaerobic fermentation system – developed by our collaborators in NUIG – used for production of high yields of targeted VFAs from organic residues; and ii) a range of novel natural and synthetic polymer-based sorbents – developed within QUB – for VFA capture and recovery from fermentation leachates or liquid streams. By combining these two technologies there exists a unique opportunity to develop a technology for the production and purification of high value VFAs from organic waste streams. Yet only through an improved understanding of the scientific basis of these processes can their full potential as commercially viable VFA removal and recovery systems be realised. This new initiative we will draw together a unique multidisciplinary group of scientists and use the expertise and experience in both NUIG and QUB to develop a combined process that will be of benefit to both those industries producing organic waste streams and those utilizing VFAs as a platform chemical. This is reflected in the diversity of companies wishing to engage with the project and their willingness to supply feedstocks for the technology trialing phase of this proposal, including Devenish Nutrition, Dale Farm and Moy Park.

More information and to application portal here.


New paper!

Our latest paper containing Paula’s work on the imprinting of tegafut is now published in the special issue of J. Chromatogr. B on Affinity Separations in Bioanalysis.

P. Mattos dos Santos, A. J. Hall and P. Manesiotis, J. Chromatogr. B. 2016, 1021 197–203.

The article is available here.


  • Molecularly imprinted polymers for anti-cancer pro-drug tegafur were prepared.
  • Stoichiometric imprinting and a custom-made functional monomer were utilised.
  • High selectivity for tegafur vs. other analytes was demonstrated.
  • Clean extracts and recoveries of up to 96% from aqueous samples were achieved.

Special Issue on Affinity Separations in J. Chromatogr. B published

CHROMB OFC 1021(C).inddThe special issue of Journal of Chromatography B on Affinity Based Separations in Bioanalysis, edited by P. Manesiotis and G. Theodoridis, is now published. You can access it online here.

In consideration of the enormous progress in these fields of bioanalysis, the Journal of Chromatography B devoted the present special issue to separation techniques based on chemical and immunological affinity and on molecular imprinting. It features reviews and original research reports from experts in the fields of affinity separations, and molecular imprinting, illustrating the use of these techniques to improve selectivity and sensitivity of biological analysis.

Group trip to Dublin for CASi2016

CASi2016Our group attended the CASi2016 conference in Dublin on 14-15 of April, organised by NCSR and DCU. PM delivered a keynote presentation on new building blocks for molecular imprinting, while Amanda and Federica presented their first conference posters! #proudsupervisor

Delighted to see the breadth of Analytical Chemistry research in Ireland and looking forward to exciting collaborations!