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Fully-funded White Rose BBSRC DTP Biology project: Multiple entry points: Detecting and characterising substrate promiscuity in bacterial sugar transporters

   White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology

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  Dr C G Baumann  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Lead supervisor: Dr Christoph Baumann (Department of Biology)

Co-supervisor: Dr Martin Fascione (Department of Chemistry)

The student will be registered with the Department of Biology

A PhD position is available in the groups of Dr Christoph Baumann and Dr Martin Fascione to work on exploring substrate promiscuity in bacterial sugar transporters from Gram-negative bacteria. Substrate promiscuity in these transporters is thought to give bacteria a competitive edge by enabling them to scavenge a range of sugars from their environment. The outputs from this project will improve our understanding of the mechanisms used by bacteria to colonise new host and environmental niches. The new knowledge gained about these transporters will also be of interest to a wider research community seeking to exploit this promiscuity to import novel antibiotics or substrates for bioremediation.

 The work will use chemical biology tools and fluorescence imaging to identify putative sugar transporters in the bacterial inner membrane. Putative transporters will be verified using both genetic and biochemical approaches, and where possible the 3D structure of a characterised sugar transporter will be elucidated. This interdisciplinary project would suit a candidate with an interest in microbial biochemistry, applying chemical biology approaches, and studying biological processes at the molecular level using structural and biophysical approaches.

 This project will provide excellent, specialised training in cutting-edge single-cell imaging methods, bioorthogonal chemical labelling strategies, protein biochemistry, membrane biophysics and glycobiology. Professional skills training will be provided by the White Rose DTP. The student will also improve their professional skills by attending the supervisors’ group meetings, departmental seminars and research conferences, and participating in outreach activities. The student will join a vibrant cross-disciplinary community of PhD students.

The Departments of Biology and Chemistry both hold an Athena SWAN Gold Award. We are committed to supporting equality and diversity and strive to provide a positive working environment for all staff and students. 

The WR DTP and the University of York are committed to recruiting future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and we have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with any biological, chemical, and/or physical science backgrounds, or students with mathematical background who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions. 

Programme: PhD in Mechanistic Biology (4 years)

Start Date: 1st October 2023

Interviews: Friday 10 February 2023 or Monday 13 February 2023. Please keep these dates free.

Funding Notes

This project is part of the BBSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology. Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 4 years. The funding includes:
Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£17,668 for 2022/23 academic year)
UK tuition fees
Research support and training charges (RSTC)
International students will need to have sufficient funds to cover the costs of their student visa, NHS health surcharge, travel insurance and transport to the UK as these are excluded from UKRI funding.
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