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Chemical glycobiology approaches for the characterisation of pseudaminyl transferase enzymes


   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr M A Fascione, Prof G Thomas  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A PhD position is available in the lab of Dr Martin Fascione and Prof Gavin Thomas to work on an ERC Consolidator Grant funded chemical glycobiology project focussed on the discovery and inhibition of novel glycosyl transferase enzymes active on rare pseudaminic acid sugars (1, 2, 3) present on bacterial surfaces. This unusual sugar is proposed to shield bacteria from detection and destruction by the human immune system and is presented by pathogenic bacteria including multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, dysentery-causing Shigella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa – the major cause of death for cystic-fibrosis patients. We recently identified novel enzymes capable of processing these glycoconjugates on cell surfaces and in this project will dissect their enzyme mechanism using sugar based probes, utilising a combination of chemical enzymology and biochemistry techniques to pave the way to the design of novel enzyme inhibitors with potential as anti-microbial, potentially opening up a new front in the war on superbugs. The project features extensive multidisciplinary training and would suit a candidate with an interest in chemical and enzymatic carbohydrate chemistry, biochemistry and chemical biology.

All Chemistry research students have access to our innovative Doctoral Training in Chemistry (iDTC): cohort-based training to support the development of scientific, transferable and employability skills: https://www.york.ac.uk/chemistry/postgraduate/idtc/  

The Department of Chemistry holds an Athena SWAN Gold Award and is committed to supporting equality and diversity for all staff and students. The Department strives to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel: https://www.york.ac.uk/chemistry/ed/.

For more information about the project, click on the supervisor's name above to email the supervisor. For more information about the application process or funding, please click on email institution

This PhD will formally start on 1 January 2023

To apply for this project, submit an online PhD in Chemistry application:

https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/courses/apply?course=DRPCHESCHE3

You should hold or expect to achieve the equivalent of at least a UK upper second class degree in Chemistry or a related subject.  


Funding Notes

Fully funded for 3.5 years by a European Research Committee (ERC) Consolidator grant and covers: (i) a tax-free annual stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£16,062 for 2022-23), (ii) tuition fees at the Home rate, (iii) funding for consumables. Studentships are available to any student who is eligible to pay tuition fees at the home rate: https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/fees/status/

References

(1). Scientific Reports, 2021, 11, 4756.
(2) ACS Catalysis, 2020, 10 (17), 9986-9993.
(3). Org. Biomol. Chem., 2020, 18, 799-809.

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