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White Rose BBSRC CASE studentship: Revealing the targets and mode of action of plant fungicides using chemical proteomic tools


Faculty of Biological Sciences

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Dr Megan Wright , Dr M E Webb No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project, which is a joint venture between the University of Leeds and Syngenta Group, will develop and apply cutting edge chemical biology approaches to decipher how fungicidal compounds work in plant pathogens. Fungi and oomycetes infect and devastate plant crops worldwide. A molecular and cellular understanding of how fungicides work will help to design molecules which are selective towards target pathogens, enabling the development of safe and sustainable fungicides for use in the environment.

This interdisciplinary project will provide training opportunities in many techniques spanning chemistry and biology, including synthetic chemistry, the culture of fungi, biochemical methods and mass spectrometry-based proteomics. You will develop compounds into chemical tools to discover the protein targets that they interact with in cells to exert their bioactivity. You will also use quantitative proteomics to assess the impact of different fungicides on the proteome, producing a dataset that can be mined for mode of action “signatures” of novel compounds.

This project will be jointly supervised by Drs Wright and Webb, who bring expertise in chemical proteomics, organic and biological chemistry, in the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, and Drs Thacker and Sinclair at Syngenta Group, experts in fungicide bioscience and proteomics respectively. Two short placements at Syngenta will provide an excellent opportunity to gain insight into work in the agrochemical industry. We are seeking a talented and motivated PhD student with a background in chemistry/biochemistry and an interest in working at the chemistry-biology interface.

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded integrated research and skills training programme, starting October 2021:
• Research Council Stipend (estimated £15,600 per year)
• Tuition fees at the UK fee rate (£4,473 per year)
• Research training and support grant

Please note: international tuition fees for 2021 entry are £23,750

Requirements:
At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with biological, chemical or physical sciences, or
mathematical backgrounds interested in biological questions.
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