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Structural and time-resolved studies of phage replication in bacterial biofilm


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Dr P Plevka No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

When Staphylococcus aureus cells form a biofilm in the human body they become shielded from the immune system and highly resistant to antibiotics. Current therapeutic options against biofilms are limited to the long-term application of a combination of several antibiotics in high doses or the surgical removal of infected tissues.

The student will study the mechanisms that phages from the family Myoviridae, natural predators of bacteria, have evolved to infect biofilms to identify new strategies for the development of antimicrobial compounds or phage therapy. He/she will use focused ion beam milling in combination with cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) and single particle reconstruction methods to study the replication cycle of phage phi812 in S. aureus cells growing in a biofilm. He/she will complement the inherently static cryo-electron microscopy analyses with time-resolved light sheet fluorescence microscopy observations of the spread of the phage infection within a biofilm. Phi812 is a potential phage therapy agent for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus infections.


PLEASE NOTE: before initiating the formal application process to doctoral studies, all interested candidates are required to contact Pavel Plevka ([Email Address Removed]) for an informal discussion.

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