Better Biotin Biosynthesis - making vitamin B7 with biotechnology

   Department of Chemical Engineering

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  Prof Anna K. Croft  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Biotin (vitamin B7) is essential for life and is used in vitamin food supplements and cosmetics, alongside the animal feed industry. Most demand is currently met through synthetic production, depleting fossil reserves and suffering from a range of drawbacks including low yields, energy costs and detrimental environmental impact. A biotechnological solution would therefore seem obvious but has been hampered by a critical bottleneck enzyme biotin synthase.

We seek a researcher with a strong background in molecular biology, synthetic biology and/or biotechnology who is committed to tackling challenging enzyme and metabolic design problems on our path to net zero.

You will have access to high-throughput molecular biology tools, pilot-scale fermentation equipment, and computational facilities, to generate new active bacterial strains for biotin production, while working closely alongside our industrial partners to deliver downstream recovery and purification of biotin. You will also have a range of opportunities to gain valuable transferrable skills (including through our doctoral college), network with international and industry partners, and be well-set up for a role in either industry, data science or academia at the end of the programme.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Prof Anna Croft via email. Applications will be reviewed on a regular basis, with successful applicants expected to start as soon as possible. The post will be closed once filled.

Engineering has seen 100% of its research impact rated as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF, 2021)


Primary supervisor: Prof. Anna Croft

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have at least, or expect to achieve, a 1st or good 2:1 MChem, MEng, or MSci or equivalent in an appropriate scientific discipline including chemistry, physics, computing, biology, biochemistry, or engineering, with a background in and passion for the interface between chemical and biological sciences. You will join a vibrant, inclusive, and supportive research team at Loughborough led by Prof Anna K Croft, and will interact closely with industrial project partners throughout the programme.

How to apply

All applications should be made online and must include a research proposal. Under the programme name, select 'Chemical Engineering'. Please quote the advertised reference number AACME-23-002 in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.

Apply now

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

International students who have their own funding for fees and stipend (e.g. through scholarships such as China Scholarship Council, Islamic Development Bank, Commonwealth Scholarship schemes and others) are encouraged to apply. Please state your funding scheme as part of your application. International applications that do not state a source of funding will not be considered.
Fees for 2024-25 (per academic year)
UK: £4,849
International: £27,500

Where will I study?