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Dissecting cell complexity using super-resolution microscopy, one molecule at a time

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The stress response of sporulation in bacteria is a fantastically system for studying biophysics processes of emergent complexity. This project involves high resolution bioimaging studies in living bacteria of proteins involved in sporulation.

You will study sporulation as a model system to understand how structural and functional complexity emerges in living cells. We aim to understand the: (i) structure and function of proteins involves in regulating sporulation and forming channels between the spore and the mother cell; (ii) roles of the cell wall remodelling during spore formation engulfment. You will use, and develop, pioneering imaging approaches of in the Leake group enabling you to monitor spatiotemporal dynamics, kinetics and interactions of these processes in functional, living cells in real time, one molecule at a time.

This is particularly timely since we have acquired compelling preliminary single-molecule data from several new functional B. subtilis bacterial strains with significant progress in the required molecular biology underway: it is an ideal time to capitalize on these developments by performing extensive functional imaging and analysis combined with complementary new biochemical and genetics investigations.


The majority of decisions on funding for PhD positions will be made in March following interviews in February. Apply by 31 January 2019 to be considered for funding.

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