About the Project
This project will focus on the understanding of ‘local’ mutation rates and how potentially heterogenic mutation rates in different genomic regions might affect evolution of antimicrobial resistance. The project will bring together several major state-of-the-art approaches and techniques: fluctuation assays to estimate mutation rate plasticity in bacterial populations , synthetic biology tools for testing ‘local’ mutation rates , microfluidics , and tracking of single molecules of fluorescent proteins to count mutations in a single cell . This inter-disciplinary approach will allow us to identify genomic regions with lower mutation rates and determine the rate of antimicrobial resistance in different genomic regions.
This fundamental study aims to provide new insights into the mechanics of how evolution works and how antimicrobial resistance emerges. The project will not only allow the student to address fundamental questions of evolutionary biology, but will also inform antibiotic drug development and management. The project lies at the interface between basic and applied science. It represents a unique opportunity for applicants that are interested in cutting-edge synthetic biology, microbiology and advanced microscopy. We will provide appropriate training, substantial technical support and expertise for these techniques. Training will be supported through regular meetings of the well-integrated antimicrobial resistance research groups, as well support from state of the art facilities and training from appropriate instrumentation companies (eg. Zeiss). We therefore expect that the project will open up multiple future career paths to the student.
Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.
UK applicants interested in this project should make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. International applicants (including EU nationals) must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English Language) as outlined before contacting potential supervisors to express an interest in their project. Eligibility can be checked via the University Country Specific information page (https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/country-specific-information/).
If your country is not listed you must contact the Doctoral Academy Admissions Team providing a detailed CV (to include academic qualifications – stating degree classification(s) and dates awarded) and relevant transcripts.
Following the review of your qualifications and with support from potential supervisor(s), you will be informed whether you can submit a formal online application.
To be considered for this project you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BBSRC DTP website http://www.manchester.ac.uk/bbsrcdtpstudentships
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website View Website
 Krašovec, R., Richards, H., Gifford, D.K., Hatcher, C., Faulkner, K.J., Belavkin, R.V., Channon, A., Aston, E., McBain, A.J. and Knight, C.G. (2017) Spontaneous Mutation Rate Is a Plastic Trait Associated with Population Density across Domains of Life. PLOS Biology, 15, e2002731. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2002731
 Lagator, M., Sarikas, S., Acar, H., Bollback, J. P. & Guet, C. C. Regulatory network structure determines patterns of intermolecular epistasis. eLife 6, e28921, (2017). doi:10.7554/eLife.28921
 Dal Co, A., Ackermann, M. & van Vliet, S. Metabolic activity affects the response of single cells to a nutrient switch in structured populations. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 16, 20190182, (2019). doi:10.1098/rsif.2019.0182
 Uphoff, S. Lord, N.D., Okumus, B., Potvin-Trottier, L., Sherratt, D.J., Paulsson, J. Stochastic activation of a DNA damage response causes cell-to-cell mutation rate variation. Science 351, 1094-1097, (2016). doi:10.1126/science.aac9786
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