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Novel extremophilic enzymes for new applications in Healthcare Products PhD-funded Ref: 4188


   College of Life and Environmental Sciences

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  Prof J A Littlechild, Dr N Harmer, Dr Michail Isupov  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Exeter United Kingdom Biochemistry

About the Project

The overall proposal will be to evaluate and take forward the application of already identified thermophilic lactonase enzymes from three different enzyme classes to combat microbial biofilm formation towards the improvement of Unilever’s Healthcare Products.

The student will also search through a thermophilic genomic and metagenomic DNA database available at Exeter for additional related enzymes. They will clone and over-express newly identified enzymes and carry out structural studies of the best performing enzymes by both X-ray crystallography and molecular modelling to understand enzyme substrate selectivity and stability. They will evaluate the effectivity of the different thermophilic lactonase enzymes to disrupt or prevent formation of biofilms using standard plate assays, SEM and high throughput model biofilm assays in collaboration with the Biofilm prevention laboratories at Unilever,

Students with experience in bioinformatics, molecular biology techniques including cloning and protein over-expression, protein purification and biochemical and structural characterisation, are encouraged to apply.


Funding Notes

The University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with Unilever is inviting applications for a fully-funded BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership PhD studentship to commence in September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The studentship will cover a stipend at the minimum Research Council rate, £15,609 in 2021/22 plus a top-up of £4,000pa from the industrial sponsor, research costs and tuition fees. International applicants may apply however full funding for international students is capped at 30% of the overall cohort for this studentship scheme.