FREE Virtual Study Fair | 1 - 2 March | REGISTER NOW FREE Virtual Study Fair | 1 - 2 March | REGISTER NOW

EASTBIO Interfacing Biocompatible Photochemistry with Microbial Metabolism

   School of Chemistry

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Craig Johnston, Dr Stephen Wallace  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The use of light energy to promote chemical reactions is one of the most vibrant and versatile areas of current research. In particular, visible light photocatalysis allows for the selective excitation of a specific molecule, which is then able to undergo energy or electron transfer with a reagent. This is a powerful strategy to form catalytic quantities of highly reactive intermediates, such as radicals or carbenes, in a highly selective manner. A vast array of novel reactions and new molecules have been generated using this approach. However, these reactions are dominated by the use of petrochemical-derived starting materials and solvents rendering them less attractive from a sustainability point of view.

In this project, we seek to combine the microbial production of metabolites that can be harnessed as starting materials in photochemical reactions. Importantly, metabolic engineering of microbes enables a range of renewable feedstocks to be used to produce starting materials suitable for photochemical transformations. Initial studies will focus on obtaining proof-of-concept by adapting known photochemical reactions with a focus on biocompatibility. We will target high value products that are of interest to medicinal and agrochemical chemists.   

Overall, the successful implementation of this strategy will offer a new method for sustainably manufacturing chemicals relevant to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. This project will be suited to a student from a chemistry and/or biotechnology background with an interest in cutting-edge multidisciplinary research and creating new sustainable technologies for the production of fine chemicals.


Application instructions can be found on the EASTBIO website-

1)     Download and complete the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion survey.

2)     Download and complete the EASTBIO Application Form.

3)     Submit an application to St Andrews University through the Online Application Portal

Your online application must include the following documents:

-         Completed EASTBIO application form

-         2 References (to be completed on the EASTBIO Reference Form, also found on the EASTBIO website)

-         Academic Qualifications

-         English Language Qualification (if applicable)

Unfortunately due to workload constraints, we cannot consider incomplete applications. Please make sure your application is complete by Monday 5th December 2022.


Queries on the project can be directed to the project supervisors

Queries on the application process can be directed to Jess Fitzgerald at [Email Address Removed]

UKRI eligibility guidance: Terms and Conditions: View Website International/EU: View Website


Funding Notes

This 4 year PhD project is part of a competition funded by EASTBIO BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. This opportunity is open to UK and International students and provides funding to cover stipend at UKRI standard rate and UK level tuition fees.

How good is research at University of St Andrews in Chemistry?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs