About the Project
The lack of effective vaccines for malaria and the appearance of resistance to antimalarials together with the absence of treatments for dengue, chikungunya, West Nile and zika has focused attention on integrated vector control management of both Anopheles and Aedes spp based on environmental/cultural management, biological and chemical control. The use of insecticides from different chemical classes is a key component of the integrated strategy against both An. gambiae and Ae. aegypti, but the increasing problem of insecticide resistance means that new compounds with different modes of action are urgently needed to replace chemicals that fail to control resistant mosquito populations.
We have shown that feeding inhibitors of peptidyl dipeptidase A to mosquito larvae leads to stunted growth and mortality. These compounds, however, were designed to inhibit mammalian form of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) and hence often lack potency and selectivity as inhibitors of the insect peptidase (1, 2).
The objective this PhD project is to stimulate and execute innovative research ideas leading to the discovery of new chemical entities with novel mechanisms of action that can be developed for the safe and effective control of mosquito vectors.
The project will be based in the Acharya group in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at Bath. The student will be performing structural (X-ray crystallography using the Diamond Synchrotron Source) and mechanism-of-action studies to discover mosquitocide leads that inhibit new or existing targets in ways that lessen the chance of resistance.
Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK) in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology/Structural Biology. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous. Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/english-language/index.html.
How to apply:
Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be addressed to Prof Ravi Acharya, [Email Address Removed].
Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Biochemistry:
Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.
More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:
Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020. Other start dates are possible, by arrangement.
Details of tuition fees may be found here:
Bench fees would be agreed with the lead supervisor.
A typical postgraduate budget for living costs may be found here:
2: Abu Hasan Z', Williams H, Ismail NM, Othman H, Cozier GE, Acharya KR, Isaac RE. The toxicity of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors to larvae of the disease vectors Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae. Sci Rep. 2017, 7: 45409.
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