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PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Regulation of transcription and its implementation in synthetic biology

   Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

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  Prof N Zenkin  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Start date and duration:
Latest project start date 25 September 2017 for 3.5 years.

Application closing date:
Applications will be considered until a suitable candidate is found.

Understanding the mechanisms of regulation of transcription is essential for intelligent manipulation of bacteria and for using them for synthetic biology applications.

This PhD studentship is part of a multidisciplinary synthetic biology consortium “Portabolomics” ( working on the novel approach that allows genetic circuits to be moved from one organism to another, industrially important but currently unsolved problem.

The project will involve investigation into mechanisms of bacterial transcription regulation, and their applications in coordinating the gene expression of the host and of the synthetic biocircuit. We will develop synthetic mechanisms to regulate bacterial host gene expression, including sensing of transcriptional status and the corresponding responses. We will create an orthologues expression system of the synthetic biocircuit based on a novel type of RNA polymerases that we have recently discovered.

The project will provide training in very wide range of techniques highly innovative methods in molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology. The project will be based in the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology of Newcastle University, which brings together leading scientists in the field of biology of bacterial cell. The Centre is situated in the new building fitted with the state of the art equipment, and provides unique scientific environment.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (

Name of supervisor(s):
Professor N Zenkin, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences. (

Eligibility Criteria:
You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or Mres is highly advantageous. Previous laboratory experience is essential.

The award is available to UK/EU and international applicants. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5, or equivalent.

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 – Cell and Molecular Biosciences’ as the programme of study
•insert the studentship code CB126 in the studentship/partnership reference field
•attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship and supervisor, quote the studentship reference code CB126 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.

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296 (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.
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