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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Biofilms - From Structure-Function Studies to Antimicrobial Discovery (HEMMINGSA_U21SF)


School of Biological Sciences

About the Project

Treatment of bacterial infections is often made more difficult by their capacity to resist antibiotics and this resistance is widely recognized as a major threat to public health. In many cases the most persistent and dangerous infections are associated with the capacity of the infecting bacteria to form a complex 3D colony known as a biofilm.  

An exciting PhD research studentship is available in the groups of Professors Andrew Hemmings and Changjiang Dong (Structural and Molecular Biology) and Dr. Gary Rowley (Microbiology) to study the structure-function relationships of protein complexes involved in synthesis, editing and translocation of biofilm exopolysaccharide in pathogenic bacteria. This information will provide a foundation for the discovery of inhibitory compounds with potential for development as antimicrobials. To achieve this the successful candidate will receive training in modern methods of molecular and structural biology, including X-ray crystallography and cryoelectron microscopy, and molecular microbiology. The research will make extensive use of our excellent local facilities including the UEA Centre for Structural and Molecular Biochemistry and external facilities such as the synchrotron at the Diamond Light Source. 

Suitably qualified individuals will have a strong interest in antimicrobial resistance and will hold, or expect to hold, a first class honours undergraduate or good Masters degree (or equivalent) from any of a range of disciplines including, but not restricted to chemistry, biochemistry, biological chemistry or microbiology. 

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here https://people.uea.ac.uk/a_hemmings

This is a PhD programme. The start date is 1st October 2021. The mode of study is full time. The studentship length is 3 years.

Entry requirements: Acceptable first degree including (but not restricted to) chemistry, biochemistry, biological chemistry or microbiology. Suitably qualified individuals will have a strong interest in antimicrobial resistance. Applicants will hold, or expect to hold, a first class honours undergraduate or good Masters degree (or equivalent).


Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website
A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

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