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BBSRC White Rose DTP Studentship - Structure and function of bacterial GTPases – emerging new targets for antimicrobial drug design


   School of Biosciences

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  Dr R Corrigan, Prof P A Bullough  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Bacterial pathogens are responsible for a significant amount of disease and morbidity worldwide. Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics resulting in one of the biggest challenges facing modern society and highlighting the need for the identification of new drug targets. Recently we identified a family of GTPases with roles in ribosome assembly. We have shown that the activities of these enzymes are essential for ribosome biogenesis and bacterial growth, making them novel targets for broad-spectrum antibiotic discovery. To develop inhibitors, it is vital that we understand the 3D molecular architecture of the ribosome in complex with GTPase cofactors. Then we can begin to understand how disruption of these enzymes changes both the structure and function of the ribosome. To achieve this, we will exploit exciting new developments in microscopy – cryo-electron microscopy - that allow us to visualize ribosomes in fine detail. We will determine the binding site of these GTPases and map defects that arise in their absence. Additionally, a small nucleotide inhibitor of these GTPases is available. Its impact on ribosome maturation and bacterial viability will be interrogated. This project will provide the student with thorough training in microbiology, antibiotic susceptibility testing, biochemical assays and advanced electron imaging approaches.

The BBSRC WR DTP and the University of Sheffield are committed to recruiting future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and we have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Note: Relocation costs for international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) will be the responsibility of the student 

Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. 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. 

 Click to apply

Programme: PhD in Mechanistic Biology (4 years)

Start Date: 1st October 2023

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed mid February 2023


Funding Notes

This project is part of the BBSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology. Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 4 years. The funding includes:
- Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£17,668 for 2022 starts)
- UK tuition fees (£4,596 for 2022)
- Research support and training grant (RSTG)
We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK and are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme

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