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Toward improved rapid diagnostics for carbohydrate biomarkers: Mapping epitope-paratope interactions that drive glycan recognition

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, December 23, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

PhD in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research - Fully-funded studentship available for entry in September 2020

This industrial Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering (iCASE) studentship is offered by Warwick’s MRC Funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). The training program involves an exciting one-year MSc in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research and then a three-year PhD project, co-supervised by experts from both academia and industry. The student will benefit from a comprehensive training programme that offers advanced workshops, career planning, transferable skills training and cohort learning events and conferences with ~ 50 other PhD students.

Dr Ann Dixon - University of Warwick: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/chemistry/research/dixon/
Dr James Schouten and Prof. Paul Davis - Mologic: https://mologic.co.uk/

Project summary:
Rapid and accurate detection and diagnosis of diseases such as tuberculosis and diabetes can have strong implications in the severity and treatment of the disease. Sugar molecules act as important biomarkers for these diseases and are recognized at very low concentrations by highly selective antibodies in immunoassays. However, the molecular basis of these recognition events is currently poorly understood, and there is wide variability in the performance of antibodies for reasons that remain unclear. In this project the student will use biochemistry, molecular biology and analytical methodologies to understand what features direct carbohydrate recognition by antibodies. These results will form the basis of rational engineering of high affinity antibody interactions that will enhance the sensitivity of diagnostic assays to sugar targets.

MSc Course (Year One)
A one-year masters in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research. This will include six months of taught modules in areas such as frontier techniques and research skills in biomedicine, programming, advanced microscopy and imaging, mathematical modelling and physical biology of the cell and two 12-week research projects.

PhD Project (Years Two - Four)
A three-year PhD project. Students will be supervised jointly by a Warwick Principal Investigator and an industry partner, and will undertake a placement with the industry partner for a minimum of three months.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should be highly motivated and with a good undergraduate degree (2i or above) or international equivalent in chemistry or biochemistry and a strong interest in solution-state NMR spectroscopy. Please see the website for further information about academic entry and residency requirements.

If you are interested in joining our dynamic DTP community, please apply by 23 December 2019. Short-listed candidates will be informed by 31 January 2020. Interviews will take place on 13 February 2020.

Funding Notes

Studentships covering full fees, consumables and annual stipend of £17,780 * are available. See
warwick.ac.uk/mrcdtp for full information.

* figure to be confirmed

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