Towards understanding the role of ‘silicon’ in life
Silicon is found as silica in crops such as rice and wheat and is also found in trace amounts in connective tissue and bones.1 In this project a highly motivated PhD student will join a team of scientists making new materials for biomedical use derived from silk and silica and researchers investigating the role of silicon in bone health. The student will explore
1. The interaction of silicon, as orthosilicic acid (Si(OH)4), with biomolecules such as collagen through application of isothermal titration calorimetry, and
2. The physicochemical identification of nanostructured silicas in biological tissue by synthesizing novel fluorescently labelled polyamines/ peptides and monitoring their location and interaction characteristics in living organisms using fluorimetric spectroscopy, confocal microscopy and FRET measurements.2
The project will involve aspects of organic synthetic chemistry to develop new silicaphilic probes and spectroscopic and structural studies of biomolecule mineral interactions.
On completion of studies the graduating PhD student, in addition to having added to our understanding of interactions between silica and biomolecules at a fundamental level, will be well placed to make a significant contribution to the development of materials for biomedical use and in their assessment for use in the human body.
Professor Perry is a world leader in the area of silica chemistry and additionally has a strong externally respected research profile in the area of biomaterials, particularly those based on silica. The PhD student will join a research team active in both the development of new materials for biomedical applications and in advancing our knowledge of the fundamentals of silica biomolecule interactions.
(1) D.J. Belton, O. Deschaume and C.C. Perry (2012) “An overview of the fundamentals of the chemistry of silica with relevance to biosilicification and technological advances” FEBS J. 279, 1710-1720 (also front cover of issue)
(2) M. Parambath, Q.S. Hanley, F. J. Martin-Martinez, T. Giesa, M.J. Buehler and C.C. Perry (2016) “The nature of the silicaphilic fluorescence of PDMPO” PCCP 18, 5938-5948
ELIGIBILITY & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
MChem/ MSci/ BSc Chemistry/ biochemistry/ biophysics/ natural sciences minimum grade 2:1.
Please note that this scholarship is only available for new applicants. Existing PhD students are not eligible to apply
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
Applications can be accepted from UK/EU and International students. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills).
HOW TO APPLY
To apply for this studentship, you should submit:
1. a fully completed application form (please ensure you read the guidance notes that accompany the form)
2. copies of your academic certificates
3. copies of your English Language Proficiency certificates (if applicable)
4. a (maximum) two page summary of the project area and recommend that you use papers from Professor Perry’s NTU staff profile here as a starting point.
All documents should be submitted electronically to [Email Address Removed]
Include brief description of the project, entry requirements, eligibility and how to apply
This studentship competition is open to applicants who wish to study for a PhD on a full-time basis only. The studentship will pay UK/EU fees (currently set at £4121 for 2016/17 and are revised annually) and provide a maintenance stipend linked to the RCUK rate (this is revised annually and is currently £14,296 for academic year 2016/17) for up to three years.
Applications from non-EU students are welcome, but a successful non-EU candidate would be responsible for paying the difference between non-EU and UK/EU fees. (Fees for 2016/17 are £12,600 for non-EU students and £4121 for UK/EU students)
How good is research at Nottingham Trent University in General Engineering?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.40
Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
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