As part of our ongoing commitment to collaboration across academia and industry the CCDC sponsors a number of PhD students each year.

Topics range across the chemical and biochemical fields, and each PhD is co-supervised by a CCDC team member, a university and in many cases an industrial partner.

Join us at our annual Science Day to learn what the current CCDC sponsored PhD students are working on: Watch talks here.  

Current CCDC PhD Students


Name Thesis Title Collaborating Institute(s) Supervisors
Laura Straughair Predicting the propensity of solvate and hydrate formation in small molecule crystal structures University of Strathclyde

Blair Johnston (University of Strathclyde)

Andy Maloney (CCDC)

Andre Frade Development and application of knowledge based molecular descriptors to the prediction of material properties

University of Oxford


Richard Cooper (University of Oxford)

Kevin Back (Pfizer)

Patrick McCabe (CCDC)

Katerina Vriza Machine learning identification of co-crystal formation University of Liverpool

Matthew Dyer (University of Liverpool)

Vitaliy Kurlin (University of Liverpool)

Pete Wood (CCDC)

Marc Short CatSD: Development of a Structural Database and Machine Learning Workflows for Catalyst Design University of Leeds

Bao Nguyen (University of Leeds)

Charlotte Willans (University of Leeds)

Clare Tovee (CCDC)

Mihaela Smilova Small Molecule Fragment Hotspot Analyses to Drive Semi-Automated Design of Selective Molecules across a Protein Family

University of Oxford

Ex Scientia

Brian Marsden (University of Oxford)

Anthony Bradley (Ex Scientia)

Jason Cole (CCDC)

Benoit Baillif Improving Ligand-Protein Affinity Prediction and Scoring Functions Using Proteochemometric Modelling and Deep Neural Networks University of Cambridge

Andreas Bender (University of Cambridge)

Ilenia Giangreco (CCDC)

Sam Meredith

Connecting Drug Discovery with Solid-State Formulation Design

University of Leeds



Colin Fishwick (University of Leeds)

Robert Hammond (University of Leeds)

Martin McPhillie (University of Leeds)

Klimentina Pencheva (Pfizer)

Neil George (Syngenta)

Andy Maloney (CCDC)

Julia Gasol

From crystal to tablet – linking structure to function

University of Strathclyde (CMAC)

Iain Oswald (University id Strathclyde)

Daniel Markl (University of Strathclyde)

Andy Maloney (CCDC)

Dori Gasparikova

From Fragment-screening to Fragment-growing - new strategies for drug discovery (Ref MoSMed20-10)

University of Durham

Ehmke Pohl (University of Durham)

Francesca Stanzione (CCDC)

Jonathan McManus

Towards prediction of synthetically accessible organic molecular crystals

University of Liverpool

Dr Vitaliy Kurlin (University of Liverpool)

Prof Andrew I. Cooper (University of Liverpool)

Angeles Pulido PhD (CCDC)

Jason Cole (CCDC)

Daniel E. Widdowson

A rigorous identification of all metastable polymorphs for better and safer drugs

University of Liverpool

Dr Vitaliy Kurlin (University of Liverpool)

Prof. Andrew I. Cooper (University of Liverpool)

Angeles Pulido PhD (CCDC)

Jonathan Balasingham

"AI-based exploration of crystal spaces to accelerate drug discovery"

University of Liverpool

Dr Viktor Zamaraev (University of Liverpool)

Dr Vitaliy Kurlin (University of Liverpool)

Prof. Andrew I. Cooper (University of Liverpool)

Angeles Pulido PhD (CCDC)

Lawson Glasby

New knowledge and Tools for Topological Characterisation of the CSD Subset of Metal–organic Frameworks


Peyman Moghadam (Sheffield)

Seth Wiggin (Sheffield)

Jason Cole (CCDC)

Cameron Wilson

The role of entropy in weakly-bound crystal structures

University of Edinburgh

Simon Parsons (University of Edinburgh)

Peter Wood (CCDC)



Name University Project
Matthew Reeves University of Edinburgh Interpretation of the crystal structures of organometallic compounds


Name University Project
Luca Iuzzolino University College London What would we need to do to tackle CSP on molecules the size of ritonavir?
Bhupinder Sandhu Kansas State University, USA Using packing descriptors to understand crystallization


Name University Project
Rachael Skyner University of St. Andrews Using Radial Distribution Functions to predict solubility


Name University Project
Florian Roessler University of Cambridge Development and applications of structure based force field parameters in molecular dynamics simulations
Chris Radoux CCDC Small Molecule Binding Hotspots on Proteins
James McKenzie University of Cambridge Non-covalent chemistry in solutions and solids


Name University Project
Ogaga Uzoh University College London Use of packing motifs in the CSD to inform Crystal Structure Prediction
Natalie Tatum  University of Durham Structure-based design targeting bacterial DNA-binding proteins.
Elena Kabova University of Reading Development of novel optimisation methods for XPRD
Philip Adler University of Southampton Towards statistical descriptions of crystal structures
Andrew Maloney University of Edinburgh Packing energy calculations for analysis of interactions in high-pressure crystal structures


Name University Project
Jason Loader University of Sheffield Modelling porous functional metal-organic framework materials
Dinesh Vatvani University of Cambridge PIPMS Student


Name University Project
Barbara Sander University of Southampton Computationally derived protein ensembles for docking
Mats Linder KTH Royal Institute of Technology Computational enzyme redesign for catalysis of the Diels-Alder reaction
Felix Gut University of Phillips Marburg Hotspot analyses in the binding sites of proteins


Name University Project
Jana Hennemann University of Marburg Improvements in docking through the use of positive and negative information
Anna Stevenson University of Bath An investigation of the interactions in gas storage materials: synthesis, characterisation and design
Paul Smart University of Sheffield Building models of metal-organic frameworks for structure solution from XPRD data


Name University Project
Claire McMullin University of Bristol Measuring and modelling chirality in metal complexes
Simon Patterson University of Edinburgh The effect of pressure on coordination complexes used in metal extraction [N.B. project cancelled after 1 year]