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MRC PhD Studentship in the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Novel antibiotics targeting bacterial gene expression

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  • Full or part time
    Prof N Zenkin
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

The threat of multi-drug-resistant infections is now the most serious since the golden era of antibiotic discovery. There is a vital need for new antibiotics with new modes of action and binding sites to avoid cross resistance. RNA polymerase is the enzyme that performs transcription is a very attractive target for antibiotic discovery. In addition to this clear clinical importance, inhibitors of transcription have also proved to be powerful tools for investigation of the molecular details of the process.

To discover new antibiotic leads targeting bacterial transcription, we are going to combine our world-leading expertise in studying inhibitors of transcription with a unique library of novel potential antibiotics developed by the collaborating company. This project will focus on investigation of inhibitors of RNAP that presently have unknown modes of action. The central goals will be (i) to understand the mechanisms of inhibition of transcription by these compounds; (ii) search for new inhibitors of transcription. By better understanding both the enzyme and the mode of action of the inhibitors, we hope to identify molecules with potential therapeutic value and to facilitate the development of the new molecules as potential antibiotics and/or antifungals. The work will involves a wide range of biochemical, molecular biological and microbiological techniques, as well as providing experience of biotech company environment.

You must have, or expect to achieve, a minimum of an upper-second-class Honours degree or international equivalent, in biochemistry, biotechnology or related area and normally further research experience and/or a further qualification such as, for example, an Mres or MSc.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the Medical Research Council (MRC) eligibility criteria you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form - You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, please complete the following:

• insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section
• select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences - Cell and Molecular Biosciences’ as the programme of study
• insert the studentship code CB121 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code CB121 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
• attach degree transcripts and certificates and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications

Funding Notes

Sponsors: Medical Research Council (MRC) and Demuris

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of approximately £14,057 (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

The funding covers a four year PhD. The start date is 26 September 2016.

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