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Combining the strengths of competing automated protein model building tools through open research

Project Description

A PhD position is available to work in the group of Dr Kevin Cowtan on computational methods for automatic building of protein structures. Both X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy can give us a picture of the electron density clouds in a protein molecule. However chemists and biologists want to know about the layout of the atoms corresponding to those clouds. Automated software is used to build a three dimensional model of the atoms in the protein which explains the observed electron density.

There are several competing software tools which address this problem, with their own strengths and weaknesses. The rise of Open Research provides a new opportunity for us to transcend traditional group boundaries and investigate how to combine the different parts of competing software tools to produce a method which is better than any of its components.

The project will involve investigating the strengths and weaknesses of software developed at York and elsewhere and develop ways of breaking the software into steps which can be combined in different combinations. The resulting software will be used to help structural biologists all over the world in their work.

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:

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: This PhD project is available to study full-time or part-time (50%).

This PhD will formally start on 1 October 2020. Induction activities will start on 28 September.

Funding Notes

This is a BBSRC White Rose DTP studentship fully funded for four years and covers: (i) a tax-free annual stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£15,009 estimated for 2020 entry), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

It is available to those who are eligible for research council studentships: View Website


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 research project 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.

How good is research at University of York in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 47.06

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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