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Novel biocatalysts from ancient marine environments


   School of Biological Sciences

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  Prof C Allen, Dr C Law  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Biocatalysis aims to utilise enzymes as industrial entities for the production of various products – such as pharmaceutical precursors, bio-energy components, agri-food products and fine chemicals. New approaches to the discovery of these enzymes are transforming the field. In this project we will be looking at gene mining approaches based on metagenome analysis, with a focus on specific marine environments.

The project builds on over 25 years experience in Professor Allen’s research group in this field – both in terms of the bio-organic chemistry of biotransformations, and more recently in the field of metagenome/gene mining, especially from soil metagenomes. The PhD researcher will develop expert skills related to the field: general microbiology techniques, cloning and over expression of proteins, gene mining, and especially related bioinformatics. The core research questions being addressed pertain to the application of gene mining methods from marine sediments for novel enzyme discovery. Further validation of the approaches will be sought through the successful development of whole cell biocatalysts that can be analysed and characterised in the laboratory.

Start Date: 1 October 2022

Duration: 3 years

How to apply: Applications must be submitted via https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php

Skills/experience required: Ideally an undergraduate 2.1 degree in microbiology/biochemistry/marine biology or a related discipline. Further postgraduate study is also an advantage (not necessarily in a related area to the project). Computational skills are especially welcome.

Note: This project is in competition for DfE funding with a number of other projects. A selection process will determine the strongest candidates across the range of projects, who may then be offered funding for their chosen project.


Funding Notes

Candidates must hold a UK 2.1 Bachelor's degree or qualifications considered to be equivalent by the University.
Candidates must also be normally resident in the UK for the three year period prior to 1 October 2022. For non-EU nationals, the main purpose of residence must not have been to receive full-time education. Non-UK or Irish nationals must also have pre-settled or settled status (EU nationals) or settled status (non-EU nationals).
Full eligibility criteria: https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/economy/Postgraduate-studentships-terms-and-conditions.pdf
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