Designing Catalysts Inspired by Enzymes with Real World Applications
Enzymes are nature’s catalysts, they perform highly specific chemical and physical functions from the generation of movement to the synthesis of DNA. This project will investigate synthetic analogues that mimic the chemistry and complex nano environments of enzymes. The project will be interdisciplinary in nature; the student will develop skills in biochemistry, organic and synthetic nano chemistry to develop engineering solutions for applications in renewable energy and healthcare. Opportunities exist for collaboration within Computational chemistry in the Coote and O’Mara groups at ANU, and international industrial collaborations in the UK and USA.
The project will design new catalysts inspired by properties of known enzymes. These include the active site chemistry, substrate binding and local environmental around the catalyst active site. The project has real world applications and we currently have a number of collaborations. These include replacing detergent enzymes, developing new routes to biodiesel, creating catalysis that initiate blood clotting cascade and materials that decontaminate nerve agents.
The project is in an interdisciplinary team with postdocs and other students. The students will learn skills in biochemistry, organic chemistry, enzyme kinetics and polymer chemistry. ANU is one of Australians top universities and is constantly ranked in the top 50 world wide. Canberra was also ranked in third in Lonely Planets "Best in Travel 2018" list.
Australia has a 3.5 year system hence you will finish your PhD in 3.5 years (with possible 6 month extension).
Funding is available for the term of a PhD. Applicants are required to have a minimum of 1st class honors or equivalent chemistry degree (or closely related field).