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Genetic design and optimisation of industrially relevant microalgae

School of Biological Sciences

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Dr E Cachat , Dr A Free No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Microalgae are slowly emerging as potential eukaryotic chassis for the production of industrially relevant compounds. To this end, new tools are needed for the modification of natural algae strains. This project aims at designing, constructing and testing novel engineering tools in microalgae, to improve their natural production of bioactive compounds, as well as producing high-value exogenous compounds. Of particular interest is the modification of strains amenable to industrial-scale culture that can grow on waste products as food source: this way we aim to achieve sustainable production of industrially relevant compounds by recycling industrial co-products. The successful candidate should have a strong interest in synthetic biology and biotechnology, and have prior experience in molecular cloning.

The project is a collaboration between the Cachat lab (Institute for Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology (IQB3), University of Edinburgh) and MiAlgae Ltd. (, a start-up company that cultivates Omega-3 rich microalgae at industrial scale. This exciting collaboration will provide the student access to excellent facilities and training opportunities (including a 3-6 months industrial placement at MiAlgae Ltd.). This PhD studentship is part of the IBioIC CTP programme (, providing further cohort training.

All interested applicants should send a cover letter and CV to Dr Cachat as soon as possible.

Host lab:
MiAlgae Ltd:

Equality and Diversity
The School of Biology holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education:
The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website:

Funding Notes

This fully-funded 4 year studentship covers tuition fees and stipend. The scholarship is open to UK/EU applicants with at least 3 years residency in the UK immediately prior to the PhD start.
The “Visit Website” button on this page will take you to our Online Application checklist. Please complete each step and download the checklist which will guide you through the application process. Application deadline is 5pm Monday 17 August 2020.
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