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New ways of terminating transcription in bacterial pathogens

Biochemistry Department

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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Dr Chris Brown Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

Update July 2020. Due to ongoing uncertainty it is unlikely this could start before 2021, unless you are already in NZ. We have appointed an experimental Post-Doc in this area, so bioinformatics and genomics could be the emphasis of this project.

An excellent PhD candidate (’A’ grades) interested in researching the fundamental process of gene expression in bacteria is being recruited to join a multidisciplinary team led at University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. The University of Otago is ranked in the top 1% of Universities in the world.

The long term goal is to identifying totally new antibiotic targets. Antibiotic resistance is increasing worldwide and a combination of state of the art experimental and computational tools are required to find new targets.

The PhD candidate will work with a small team, particularly a Post-doctoral Fellow and Bioinformatician. The candidate will master and use a wide range of bacterial genetic and genomic techniques. Genes and constructs will be designed and expressed in E. coli, Pseudomonas and Streptococcal species.

The primary supervisor will be Dr Chris Brown, within the Biochemistry Department which is part of the Division of Health. The project is a collaboration with Dr Joe Wade, NY Department of Health)

Highly motivated individuals with a BSc(Hons) or MSc in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, or related discipline are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidates will have practical knowledge in reporter construct design and expression in bacteria, and in genomic analysis. Excellent communication skills, willingness to work in a team, and the ability to plan and interpret experiments in an independent manner are important attributes.

Funding Notes
A fully funded project for three years that includes an annual stipend, tuition fees, and consumable costs is available. These are available through a Marsden Fund grant with Dr Chris Brown as PI, but candidates should also be eligible to apply to for University of Otago Doctoral Scholarships.

It is expected the project will start early in 2020 (e.g. April) or when filled.

Include in your application:
(i) a copy of your CV,
(ii) a copy of your academic transcript,
(iii) a short motivation statement (~500 words), and
(iv) a pdf copy of your research thesis.

The ability to communicate proficiently in English is essential. Formal English language requirements can be found at

Funding Notes

Applicants must be eligible for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Otago.
Although this project is funded by an external source students should also be eligible for a scholarship. A GPA of equivalent to an Otago GPA of 8.0 (A) on a nine point scale or greater is expected.
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