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PhD Studentship in Biosciences - Stopping a killer superbug: unravelling the molecular mechanisms of C. difficile sporulation

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Salgado
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Interested in a PhD studying antibiotic resistant bacteria and identifying new avenues to treat drug-resistant infections? In this PhD, you will use biochemistry and structural biology, together with molecular biology, genetics and microbiology to understand C. difficile.

C. difficile, an antibiotic resistant pathogen, is the most frequent cause of hospital acquired infections across Europe. It relies on antibiotics disrupting the gut microbiota to cause disease so species-specific antimicrobials that kill C. difficile are urgently needed.

C. difficile infectious agent is a dormant cell form, the spore, that is resistant to physical and chemical agents, making it extremely hard to remove from the environment. Sporulation is a promising but unexploited target for new therapeutics against C. difficile. Our work focusses on proteins that we have shown to be essential for spore formation.
You will join our multi-disciplinary team between Dr Paula Salgado, Dr Chris Stewart and Professor Waldemar Vollmer at Newcastle University. You will work alongside other students and postdoctoral scientists to investigate engulfment proteins, their structure/function and role in infection and interactions with the host.

Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)
Dr Paula Salgado, Dr Chris Stewart and Professor Waldemar Vollmer

Eligibility Criteria
You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in Biochemistry, Microbiology, Biosciences or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.

This award is available to UK/EU and international applicants.

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How to apply
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.
Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

• insert the programme code 8300F* in the programme of study section
• select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Biosciences’ as the programme of study
• insert the studentship code BI023 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code BI023 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.

* The online application system will only allow one application using the programme code 8300F. If you are applying for TWO or more projects using that code then you will need to email our Postgraduate Admissions Service ([Email Address Removed]) with the following information:

your application number (from the first project application that you submitted online)
the second studentship code and its corresponding title
a two page covering letter for the second project
Our Postgraduate Admissions Service will then forward this information to the relevant selector in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,009 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

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