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Single-molecule fluorescence sensing of DNA enzyme activity, using pulse-shaped multiphoton excitation

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

DNA-modifying enzymes are becoming increasingly important in genetic medicine. The development and effective use of gene-based therapies demands the specific and sensitive detection of the activities of these enzymes. Currently available methods measure the amount rather than activities or functionalities of enzymes. However, it is the activities, not the quantities per se of enzymes that dictate their biological functions.

In this project we will use new DNA base analogues with exceptional fluorescence properties to develop and apply a new, ultrasensitive DNA-enzyme sensing modality, exploiting novel, pulse-shaped multiphoton excitation.
We aim to detect DNA enzyme activity at the single-molecule level, the ultimate detection sensitivity, to enable the detailed examination of the molecular mechanisms of DNA modification and underpin the development of new epigenetic diagnostic and treatment regimes.

For further information and informal enquiries please contact Prof. Anita Jones
Formal application procedure
Submit an application for a 4-year PhD with Integrated Study at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Sensing and Measurement by sending your CV and a covering letter, as soon as possible, to Prof Andy Harvey at
In your covering letter, identify this project as your chosen one.
For details of eligibility and funding see

The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website:

Funding Notes

This 4-year PhD studentship (approc £14.5k per annum) is offered in association with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Sensing and Measurement, CDT-ISM (joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow). View Website

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of St Andrews)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 43.30

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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