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PhD studentship in Molecular Biology (Experimental Molecular Computing and Communication)

Research Support Unit

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Dr S Balasubramaniam , Dr L Coffey No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Post summary
Applications are invited for a PhD position funded by the Science Foundation Ireland VistaMilk “Dairy by Design” Research Centre. VistaMilk is a multi-disciplinary Research Centre that focuses on Agri. Tech, bringing together the disciplines of ICT and Agriculture. The research centre consists of Telecommunication Software & Systems Group (TSSG)-Waterford Institute of Technology, Tyndall National Institute-UCC, INSIGHT research centre for data analytics-UCD, and Teagasc.
The PhD topic is in the area of molecular computing and communication for animal diagnostics and will be in collaboration between the TSSG and Pharmaceutical & Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC) research centres in Waterford Institute of Technology. The aim of the project is to develop engineered cells that can be used to create computing logic systems, which can be used to analyse molecular signals that can indicate a number of diseases within the animal’s gut. The PhD candidate will collaborate with ICT researchers who specialize in computing to gain elementary knowledge in digital logic and computing systems that will be implemented through synthetic engineering of cells. The project will rely on a variety of molecular biology techniques, including PCR, gene sequencing, cloning, gene regulation and expression, gene synthesis, quorum sensing and recombinant plasmid construction. The project will rely also on microbiology and protein expression techniques throughout. The PhD project will be for 4 years and will cover fees in addition to a personal stipend and research expenses.
The candidate is expected to be highly self-motivated, and willing to work in a multi-disciplinary collaboration environment for future emerging topics in Agri. Tech. The candidate is also expected to be self-motivated, capable of working on his or her own initiative and fit in with the friendly atmosphere within the wider research team.
Person specification
• The successful candidate must have BSc degree in molecular biology, biochemistry or related discipline.
• MSc degree in molecular biology, biochemistry or related discipline.
Knowledge & Experience
• Experience in DNA manipulation, gene amplification and cloning.
• Experience in analysis of gene expression and DNA sequencing.
• Experience in protein expression and analysis.
• Performance testing/detection/activity assays of whole cell/expressed protein preparations.
• Basic microbiology skills.
• Knowledge in Synthetic Biology.
• Knowledge of CRISPR/Cas9 technology.
• Experience in quorum sensing.
• Experience in fluorescent protein tagging/cell imaging.
• Experience of cell free expression systems.

Funding Notes

Funding information Science Foundation Ireland VistaMilk
Value of the scholarship Stipend: €18,500 per annum for 4 years
Fees: €4,500 per annum for 4 years
Teaching requirement (if any) N/A

Skills & Competencies
• Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.
• The candidate must demonstrate a high motivation, initiative and ability to work within a multi-disciplinary project team to achieve results.
• Have an academic record of excellence, good writing and communication skills.
• Post-BSc degree molecular biology laboratory experience.


Further information
For any informal queries, please contact Jane Mahony at email: [email protected] or telephone: +00353 (0) 51 834173
For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email [email protected] or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.
To apply visit:
Apply by Friday 4th September 2020 at 4pm Irish time (GMT+1)
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