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A New Molecular Machine Required for Bacterial Development into Spores


Project Description

The Rodrigues Lab focuses on how bacteria develop into spores. Bacterial spores are one of the hardiest cell types on Earth and allow bacteria to persist in the environment when nutritional conditions are no longer favourable for growth. Spores are resistant to common sterilisation methods that kill most bacteria and are inert to antibiotics. Our lab focuses on a obtaining a deeper understanding of the molecular underpinnings of how bacteria develop into spores using molecular genetics and cell biology approaches.

The project will examine new molecular aspects of spore development. It will focus on genes of yet defined function that participate in a large protein complex that resembles a specialised secretion system and connects the two cells involved in spore formation. The selected candidate will have an opportunity to develop expertise in bacterial molecular genetics and cell biology approaches and potentially be engaged in other projects involving structural biology and biochemical methods.

For more information, refer to the following publication link:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966842X18300015

To be eligible for this application, you must hold the following or equivalent experience:

• Honours degree with First Class, or Second Class Division 1, or MSc with a research thesis of at least 6 months.
• Experience in microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology or biochemistry
• Academic English TOEFL or IELTS (if relevant)

The ideal candidate should have a genuine interest and passion for scientific research and the following:

• Strong attention to detail
• High degree of commitment, motivation and focus
• Can-do attitude
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Ability to work in teams

The Rodrigues Lab is based at The ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) - Australia’s Top Young University and ranked within the Top 200 universities worldwide. Its vibrant campus is located in the centre of Sydney, with easy access to all amenities and transport that is ideally suited for PhD student living.

The ithree institute at UTS focuses on three research themes: Microbes in Agriculture, Microbial Communities and Stealth Pathogens. Its collaborative research environment involves innovative technology development, specifically tailored to microbes (in imaging, sequencing, genomics and proteomics), and its use in the creation of new knowledge to identify how microorganisms survive and adapt to a range of environments and insults, including the human host.

The ithree institute members work in an integrated model of collaboration. PhD students are very well supported by a 360-degree mentoring structure which provides them with mentors from both senior and more junior levels. PhD students have the opportunity to attend multiple seminars every week, both within institute and the School of Life Sciences. PhD students are supported by the UTS Science PhD student cohort which provides them with a voice within the Faculty and continuously guides UTS towards meeting high-degree research student needs. Finally, PhD students are fully supported to attend conferences overseas, at least once during their candidature, which exposes them directly to their research community.

Funding Notes

Scholarship: $26,694 AUD per year / 3 years

To apply, please send your CV and expression of interest (at least 1/2 page). Only selected candidates will be notified by email for further enquires. The selected candidate will be asked to interview with Faculty members.

Due to scholarship condition requirements, preference will be given to domestic applicants but highly-motivated international applicants are encouraged to apply and will be considered.

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