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Next generation, sustainable RNA based biopesticides

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, January 29, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The estimated global crop loss to pests is >$100 Billion every year. These include insects, plant viruses, and fungi; many of these either have no current means of control or have developed resistance against traditional chemical pesticides. The application of dsRNA for the targeted, sequence-specific inhibition of specific genes via RNA interference (RNAi) is emerging as an important tool for the development of novel RNAi-based sustainable insect and fungal management strategies.

The overall aim of this project is to develop and optimise RNA based biopesticides as alternatives to chemical pesticides. This project will focus on synthetic biology approaches to optimise the production and efficacy of RNA based biopesticides.

The successful candidate will receive training in molecular biology, biological engineering, design and analysis of experimental data. The project would suit bioscience/engineering graduates with a strong interest in biological engineering and biotechnology.

Biological engineering is one of the fastest-growing employment sectors and many of our Ph.D. graduates have found employment in the analytical field through to research and development in biotechnology/biopharmaceutical industries.

The student will join a well-established research group with access to analytical facilities that contain state of the art mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography instruments. Training will be provided by experienced researchers for the hands-on operation of all analytical equipment in the facility.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a First Class or high Upper Second Class Honours degree in chemistry, bioscience, biological engineering, biotechnology or related degree. Applicants should be a good communicator and be highly motivated. The ideal applicant should have an interest in working as part of an interdisciplinary team. If English is not your first language then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component. Please contact Prof Mark Dickman via if you are interested in this project.

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