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Engineering Clostridia for improved production of chiral chemicals through pathway optimisation and enzyme evolution

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, December 05, 2016
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This applied research project is hosted by the University of Bristol and has strong industrial support from CHAIN Biotechnology. The overarching aim of the project is to use advanced synthetic biology tools, structural biology, enzyme design and engineering, and high-throughput methods for strain improvement, to allow the production of high-value chiral chemicals in anaerobic bacteria.

The candidate will develop skills across several interdisciplinary areas including synthetic biology, microbiology, molecular biology, enzymology, and protein biochemistry, using state-of-the-art techniques for gene cloning and expression in anaerobes, and high-throughput automated methods for plasmid assembly, selection and screening. Specific emphasis will be on protein engineering, with the aim to improve enzyme function and improved carbon flux towards the production of high-value chemical products via fermentation. To aid with protein engineering, enzymes will be characterised using biophysical techniques (including X-ray crystallography and biomolecular simulation). The project will be enabled by cutting edge facilities available within the BrisSynBio Synthetic Biology Research Centre (Bristol) and the world leading microbiology and molecular biology capability of CHAIN (Nottingham and London).

Supervisory team:
Main supervisor: Dr Paul Race (University of Bristol)
Non-academic supervisor: Dr Dana Heldt (CHAIN Biotech Ltd)
Dr Marc van der Kamp (University of Bristol), Dr Edward Green (CHAIN Biotech Ltd)

Funding Notes

Further information and how to apply:
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