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Investigating Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria using Functional Genomics

Project Description

Oxford Brookes University
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

3 Year, full-time PhD studentship
Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU
PhD Start date: September 2020
Application Closing Date: 31 December 2019
Interview: w/c 13 January 2020
Bursary p.a: Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees (2019/2020 bursary rate is £15,009)
University fees and bench fees at the Home/EU rate will be met by the University for the 3 years of the Studentship.
Main supervisor: Dr Hee-Jeon Hong
2nd supervisors: Dr Victor Bolanos-Garcia, Dr Andy Jones, Dr Andy Hesketh (University of Brighton)

Project Summary: Our research focuses on characterization of bacterial responses to antibiotics using Actinomycetes as model system. Actinomycetes produce about 70% of known antibiotics and are the ultimate source of genes involved in sensing and responding to extracellular antibiotics including antibiotic resistance system and are therefore an ideal system to use for furthering the understanding of the processes involved. Antibiotics that target the bacterial cell envelope, such as penicillin and vancomycin, are particularly clinically important in treatment of infectious diseases but many inducible resistance systems in pathogens have evolved that reduce their effectiveness with an example of vancomycin-resistant MRSA. Our research will involve a diverse range of functional genomic approaches such as RNA sequencing analysis, genetic modification, cell wall analysis and susceptibility assay in conjunction with bioinformatics and systems biology. The fundamental aim of our research is to extend our knowledge of the functions and systems that are important for bacterial resistance/tolerance to the antibiotic, and open ways by which these can be exploited in future antibiotic therapies. We also aim to progress this research into pathogens responsible for hospital acquired infections. This work has direct implications for public health, contributing to efforts to understand the molecular basis of defensive responses and resistance to antibiotics in bacteria. The Department of Biological and Medical Sciences has excellent research groups and facilities in this area of study and so there will be good opportunities for the student to have multidisciplinary collaborations. As part of your training you will be required to assist in demonstrating on undergraduate practical during semesters without further remuneration.
For further information, please contact Dr Hee-Jeon Hong ().

Funding Notes

Entry Requirements: A good Honours degree minimum 2.1 from a UK university or acceptable equivalent from a recognised university. EU applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre.

How to apply: Please complete the Application Form, which you can download from
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With your application please enclose a CV, scanned copy of your degree certificates and transcripts. Additionally, if appropriate, a valid IELTS Academic test score certificate.
Applications only accepted by e-mail to .

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