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Engineering Enzymes to address global plastic pollution problems


Research School of Chemistry

About the Project

Enzymes are nature’s catalysts, they perform highly specific chemical and physical functions from the generation of movement to the synthesis of DNA. This project will investigate the design of new enzymes to perform non-natural functions. The project will be interdisciplinary in nature; the student will develop skills in biochemistry, organic and synthetic nano chemistry to develop engineering solutions for applications in sustainability. The project will be in collaboration with Jackson group at ANU, and possible international industrial collaborations in the UK and USA.

The project will design new enzymes to degrade synthetic polymers. This includes the design of specific binding to attract the non-natural substrates and chemistry to degrade these synthetic polymers. The project is designed to address the world-wide problems of plastic pollution and possibly create sustainable methods in polymer chemistry.

The project is in an interdisciplinary team with postdocs and other students. The students will learn skills in biochemistry, organic chemistry, enzyme kinetics and polymer chemistry. ANU is one of Australians top universities and is constantly ranked in the top 50 world wide. Canberra was also ranked in third in Lonely Planets "Best in Travel 2018" list.

Australia has a 3.5 year system hence you will finish your PhD in 3.5 years (with possible 6 month extension). Scholarship will be around $30,000 AUD per annum.

Funding is available for the term of a PhD. Applicants are required to have a minimum of 1st class honors or equivalent chemistry degree (or closely related field). And a minimum of 6 months research experience.

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