Modern healthcare has enabled vast improvements in human life expectancy and quality of life, yet a significant barrier to further improvements in treatments of many diseases is the lack of rapid diagnostic tests to enable their timely identification. The development of sensors which could rapidly detect bacteria and other pathogens would enable earlier diagnosis, and more appropriate treatment, for a range of infectious diseases, as well as presenting opportunities to detect these pathogens in the environment and prevent their transmission. This interdisciplinary project, based in the group led by Dr Clare Mahon, aims to develop new polymeric materials which can distinguish different species and strains of bacteria from one another, using a pattern-based approach inspired by natural cellular recognition processes. The project will involve synthesis and characterisation of small molecules and polymers, and testing their biological function in an approach combining bacterial cell culture and protein expression. Potential candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Mahon for more information.