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BBSRC DTP White Rose Studentship - Development of Debaryomyces hansenii as a robust host for production of high value fatty acid-based biochemicals.


Project Description

Petro-chemically derived biochemicals are used globally, however, there is a worldwide drive to replace them with sustainable, biological counterparts. Nature provides many tools to synthesise a huge variety of biochemicals but there are problems which arise when industrially harvesting these compounds such as low yields, pathogenicity and difficulty in culturing the organisms. The challenge frequently faced by the industrial biotechnology community is how to manipulate cellular synthesis machinery in order to yield products which can be used optimally.

In this synthetic biology project you will be part of an interdisciplinary team that is interested in the production of a class of bio-emulsifiers using the non-pathogenic yeast Debaryomyces hansenii as production host. You will address how the marine stress resistant cells adapt to the production of compounds that potentially emulsify their membranes. You will introduce the genes to produce the emulsifiers into D. hansenii and then address the question using a variety of techniques including transcriptome analysis, lipidomics and metabolic pathway analyses. Your findings will then be used to re-engineer the cellular biosynthesis pathway to improve bio-emulsifier production. This project is based around principles of industrial biotechnology but creates opportunities to work together with molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, chemists and physiologists.

Funding Notes

4 year BBSRC studentship, under the BBSRC White Rose Mechanistic Biology DTP
View Website

Requirements: At least a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.

Studentships are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Further information on eligibility: View Website.

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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