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Production, characterization, and engineering of yanuthone and novel antimicrobial agents to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR)


   School of Applied Sciences

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  Dr Kirsty McLean  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The loom of antimicrobial resistance is a well-publicised crisis, one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity, with 10 million deaths per year predicted by 2050; equating to 1 death per 3 seconds – more than current cancer mortality. Thus, highlighting the desperate need to produce new antimicrobial medicines that can impact drug resistance, improve human health, and save lives. 

A recently discovered antimicrobial called yanuthone (structurally different to most existing antibiotics) has been found to be effective against the superbug MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and other human disease-causing pathogens. The production of the yanuthone antimicrobial occurs naturally in a common fungus and involves a pathway of several enzymes (nature’s catalysts) that build the drug in a stepwise manner from a central core, adding on constituents that give the antibiotic its unique properties. The characterization of several of these enzymes with allowing their engineering to change the way they construct the antimicrobials and produce new derivatives

This PhD project involves the initial biochemical characterisation and subsequent engineering of proteins involved in the latter stages of yanuthone production, aiming to produce new yanuthone derivatives with enhanced antimicrobial activity.

Please feel free to contact me directly [Email Address Removed] if you would like more information.


Funding Notes

The studentships are open to citizens of the UK and cover the full cost of tuition fees and an annual tax-free bursary of £16,062 for three years (RCUK rates). Successful applicants should have a first or upper second undergraduate degree or Masters degree in a relevant subject.

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