About the Project
Synthetic biology assembles biological parts into new processes such as metabolic or transport pathways. The toolbox is rapidly increasing and so are the applications, but there is still a wide gap between theory and practice. Even in a simple bacterial cell the regulatory network controlling substrate-product relationships is so complex that efforts to integrate new biological functions are often ‘lost in translation’. The success of synthetic biology in the long run will depend on radical simplification of chassis. As an alternative to the top-down approach, which aims to reduce existing biological systems, this project follows a bottom-up approach, adding biological parts to a minimal artificial chassis to achieve the desired biological function. The student will develop a generic solution which should open a window of opportunities for downstream applications in medicine, agriculture and water treatment.
The project provides excellent interdisciplinary training opportunities. The student will receive training in molecular biology, biophysics and biochemistry. They will learn how to use the microfluidic platform, and how to systematically optimise molecular devices. The student will also receive guidance on how to access and evaluate publicly available data on regulatory policies, market requirements and public and stakeholder opinion. In addition to shaping the trajectory of the technology, this will equip them with additional skills that are increasingly important in the workplace.
The student will be integrated into the vibrant laboratory of Prof. Amtmann, which is housed in the Bower Building and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for protein biochemistry, electrophysiology and confocal microscopy. The student will be part of a highly motivated cohort of post-docs and post-grads, many of them working on related topics. The group meets for weekly lab seminars and journal clubs providing opportunities for the student to present their results and critically discuss scientific papers. Dr. Reboud shares cutting-edge technological know-how and facilities with the group of Prof. Cooper in their superbly equipped laboratory in the Rankine Building. The student will collaborate with the RA/PG cohorts of the Reboud/Cooper group and of the Murphy group, and participate in relevant seminars in the Schools of Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences. The interdisciplinary ‘Water @ Glasgow’ group will provide a particularly stimulating forum for interaction.
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Funding covers tuition fees and stipend at Research Council rate (£13,863 for 2014-2015) for 4 years, subject to satisfactory annual progress. For more information and how to apply please go to http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/postgraduateresearch/scholarships/kelvinsmith/shortlistedscholarshipprojects/
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