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Ultrafast Photobiology - measuring structural dynamics in photoactive proteins (MEECHS1U19SF)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Meech
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Almost all living organisms sense and respond to light.  Understanding how this works is important in areas as diverse as crop development and quantum biology. In this project we will probe the mechanism by which light energy is converted into signals in bacteria.  It turns out that the earliest events in light sensing occur on the timescale of intermolecular rotation – a few million millionths of a second. To observe and characterise such motions requires specialist optical tools developed in our laboratories. In this PhD project we will apply those ultrafast methods to a series of light sensing flavoproteins. 

Applications are processed as soon as they are received and the project may be filled before the closing date, so early application is encouraged.

Project Start Date: Oct 2019
Mode of Study: Full-time
Acceptable First Degree: Chemistry, Physics, Biophysics
Minimum Entry Requirements: UK 2:1

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources.  Details of tuition fees can be found at  
A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research.  The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project. 


i) A. Gil, et al ‘Photoactivation of the BLUF Protein PixD Probed by Site-Specific Incorporation of Fluorotyrosine Residues’ J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 14638–48 

ii) A. Gil, et al ‘Femtosecond To Millisecond Dynamics Of Light Induced Allostery In The Avena Sativa LOV Domain’ J. Phys. Chem. B, 2017, 121, 1010 

iii) A. Gil, ‘The Mechanism of the AppABLUF Photocycle Probed by Site-Specific Incorporation of Fluorotyrosine Residues: The Effect of the Y21 pKa on the Forward and Reverse Ground State Reactions.’ J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138, 926

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