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Development of new therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics for viruses with epidemic potential

   Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

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  Prof Nicholas Brindle  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The devastating world-wide effects of Covid19 have highlighted the threat posed by viruses with the potential to cause epidemics and pandemics. It is important that effective therapeutics and detection reagents are developed for such viruses. We have recently used protein engineering and directed evolution techniques to create antagonists and traps (decoys) to block Covid19 virus infectivity, and for use as novel diagnostics.

This project will use similar molecular approaches to develop biotherapeutics and diagnostics for viruses that have been prioritized by the WHO as having epidemic and pandemic potential and for which there are currently no effective treatments. Directed evolution and protein engineering will also be used to optimize vaccine candidates for such viruses. The student will receive advanced trained in a range of techniques including molecular biology, protein engineering, mammalian cell surface display, directed protein evolution, protein expression and characterization, flow cytometry, FACS and cryo-electron microscopy.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject.

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable:

How to apply:

Initial enquiries to Prof. N Brindle ([Email Address Removed]).


1. Morrison, M. S., C. J. Podracky and D. R. Liu (2020). "The developing toolkit of continuous directed evolution." Nat Chem Biol 16(6): 610-619.
2. Brindle, N. P., J. E. Sale, H. Arakawa, J. M. Buerstedde, T. Nuamchit, S. Sharma and K. H. Steele (2013). "Directed Evolution of an Angiopoietin-2 Ligand Trap by Somatic Hypermutation and Cell Surface Display." J Biol Chem 288: 33205-33212.
3. Fischer, M., M. Kang and N. P. Brindle (2016). "Using experimental evolution to probe molecular mechanisms of protein function." Protein Sci 25(2): 352-359.
4. Issa, E., A. J. Moss, M. Fischer, M. Kang, S. Ahmed, H. Farah, N. Bate, D. Giakomidi and N. P. Brindle (2018). "Development of an Orthogonal Tie2 Ligand Resistant to Inhibition by Ang2." Mol Pharm 15: 3962-3968.

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