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BBSRC DTP White Rose Studentship - Structural and functional characterization of the TAD pilus of the multi-antibiotic-resistant bacterium P. aeruginosa

Project Description

Surface attached biofilms bacteria are major cause of recurrent infections because they allow cells to withstand much higher concentrations of antibiotics. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a notorious biofilm-forming pathogen that uses filamentous Tight Adherence (Tad) pili to stick to surfaces during the initial stages of biofilm formation, yet there is currently very little understanding of the Tad pilus at either the molecular or behavioural level.

We propose to use cryo-EM, a revolutionary technique to investigate protein complexes at the atomic level, combined with cutting-edge microfluidic experiments, to characterize the Tad pilus. This hybrid approach, combining structural biology, bacteriology, and biophysics, will provide new insights on how P. aeruginosa utilizes the Tad pilus to initiate biofilm formation. Ultimately this could but used to develop new antimicrobial treatments in the fight against the deadly P. aeruginosa infections that routinely occur in cystic fibrosis patients and burn victims.

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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