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Synthetic Biology Approaches to Improve the E. coli Biomanufacturing Platform

Project Description

E. coli is used to produce proteins for multi-billion pound industries for the production of biocatalysts, therapeutics and diagnostics. However, this host cell lacks certain functionality that could expand its toolbox even further, for example, posttranslational modifications. Despite successful engineering of E. coli cells with novel machinery to make more diverse proteins, the cells remain relatively inefficient. This project will explore metabolic engineering methods to increase the efficiency of bacterial protein production, with a focus on glycosylation, the so-called “third revolution” in evolution. Omics based approaches will be used to look for gene targets and the functionality and titres of recombinant proteins evaluated.

The successful candidate will receive training in molecular biology, cell engineering, protein expression, design and analysis of experimental data and ‘omics technologies at the forefront of biomanufacturing. The project would suit a biosciences graduate with a strong interest in engineering cells or engineers with a strong interest in biotechnology.

Biological engineering is one of the fastest growing employment sectors and many of our PhD graduates have found employment in the analytical field through to research and development in biotechnology/biopharmaceutical industries.

The project supervisor currently leads a group of 7 PhD students, 1 PDRA and a Research Technician with access to microbiology and molecular biology facilities as well as cutting-edge mass spectrometers.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a First Class or high Upper Second Class Honours degree in chemistry, biology (molecular, microbiology etc.), biological engineering, biotechnology or related degree with good mathematical skills.

If English is not your first language then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 6.0 in each component.

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