Postgrad LIVE! Study Fairs

Birmingham | Edinburgh | Liverpool | Sheffield | Southampton | Bristol

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Featured PhD Programmes
Birkbeck, University of London Featured PhD Programmes
Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Kent Featured PhD Programmes
Birkbeck, University of London Featured PhD Programmes

Structural molecular biology and synthetic biology of bacterial microcompartments and nano-tubes

This project is no longer listed in the FindAPhD
database and may not be available.

Click here to search the FindAPhD database
for PhD studentship opportunities
  • Full or part time
    Prof R W Pickersgill
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is a fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship in the area of structural molecular and synthetic biology; the studentship starts 1st October 2016.

We are studing the structure, function and assembly of bacterial microcompartments. These remarkable protein assemblies comprise thousands of subunits which form a pseudo-icosahedral protein shell encapsulating a number of enzymes forming a metabolic pathway. We are working to understand how the protein subunits tessellate, bend and assemble, how the enzymes interact with these shell proteins, how transport across the shell is controlled, and the advantages of compartmentalization of enzymes. As well as protecting intermediates from off-pathway interactions, compartmentalizaiton likely affords kinetic and thermodynamic advantages to pathways, but these advantages have yet to be quantified and exploited.

We discovered that when a single microcompartment protein is overexpressed it forms nano-tubes 20 nm in diameter, up to 1 µm in length. We are exploring the structure of these nano-tubes and using them as scaffolds for building super-molemolecular assemblies for a range of synthetic biology applications.

Our approach will be multidisciplinary using techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry, chemistry, biophysics, crystallography, spectroscopy and computing.

We are working in collaboration with colleagues at the Universities of Kent and Bristol in a BBSRC-funded strategic LOLA programme. The applicant will therefore have the twin advantages of being part of the BBSRC LIDo and the BBSRC sLOLA group.


This four-year iCASE studentship is funded jointly by the BBSRC London Interdisciplinary PhD Programme and Prozomix Ltd. It covers UK/EU tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of ca. £16,057.

Applications will be considered from individuals with a background in life science (chemistry, biology, biochemistry, biophysics) or physical science (mathematics, physics, computer science), though the equivalent of a first or upper second-class degree is essential. A postgraduate degree in a relevant subject would be desirable but is not essential, as would basic molecular biology skills, experience of computer programming and an interest in synthetic biology.
For more information regarding the project, please contact Prof Richard Pickersgill - [Email Address Removed]
For more information about the programme, eligibility or the application process please contact the programme administrator - [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

UK/EU tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of ca. £16,057.

How good is research at Queen Mary University of London in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2018
All rights reserved.