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Improving the isolation of biologics using molecular modeling and bioinformatics

Project Description

with Prof. Jeanine Houwing-Duistermaat

The field of biotechnology has exploded over the past decade with many antibody-based therapeutics dominating the top-ten best selling drugs worldwide. Alternatives to antibodies are becoming more established, highlighting the need for novel methods for isolating the best possible reagents for targeting disease. This exciting PhD proposal brings together bioinformatics, molecular modeling, molecular biology and protein biochemistry to improve the initial starting point of any campaign to isolate biologics.
Many biologics are isolated by a technique called phage display, which was used by the Nobel Prize winners in 2018 for directed evolution. Phage display initially requires generating a library of biologics. The library is usually unbiased and extremely large but only covers a fraction of the actual potential library size. Bioinformatics and molecular modeling will be used to inform a novel restricted amino acid library to provide improved libray coverage. Molecular biology techniques will be used to generate a ‘restricted’ phage display library of Affimer reagents, an alternative to antibodies developed in Leeds, that will be screened against biologically relevant and important disease targets.
Overall, this exciting PhD proposal will bring together a range of techniques and provide a truly multi-disciplinary training platform for a career in science or industry.

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2020:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference and research funding

At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.

EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency to receive full studentship

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

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How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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