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Developing next-generation inducible gene expression systems for biopharmaceutical manufacturing

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, January 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Biopharmaceuticals offer therapeutic promise for treating many currently incurable conditions, including cancer, neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases. The manufacture of these therapies is underpinned by production of proteins (e.g. monoclonal antibodies) and viral vectors (e.g. for gene therapies) in mammalian cell factories. These products pose a significant challenge to the cell’s machinery and in some cases are toxic, placing significant limitations on the amount of product that can be made in each manufacturing process. This project will develop inducible gene expression systems that can be used to precisely control the timing and level of recombinant protein production, facilitating significant increases in biopharmaceutical product titer and quality. The design space of DNA/RNA features and chemical ligands will be comprehensively mapped and utilised to create next-generation expression systems (i.e. controlling transcription and translation) that are specifically optimised for use in recombinant protein and viral vector production systems. Following multiple rounds of the synthetic biology design-build-test-learn cycle, optimal synthetic genetic parts will be reduced to practice by validating their performance in industrial systems, via collaboration with biopharmaceutical companies.

This is an excellent opportunity for a postgraduate student to work on a synthetic biology project with direct bioindustrial application. Students will join an active research group (20+ members) with extensive industry-links, working at the cutting edge of biopharmaceutical development, design and manufacture. Working in our molecular biology and cell culture laboratories, equipped with up-to-date industrially-relevant technologies/equipment, students will obtain skills and capabilities that are in high-demand in both academia and the biopharmaceutical/biotechnology industry

Funding Notes

The ideal candidate will have (or expect to obtain) a first or upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline such as biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology or bioengineering. If English is not your first language, then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component.

If you require any further information before making an application, please contact Dr Adam Brown (). Applications are also welcome from students who have funding secured from international governments or other agencies.

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