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Discovery of novel pharmaceuticals from marine and desert microorganisms

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Jaspars
    Dr Ebel
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Microorganisms from extreme environments such as the deep sea and hyper arid deserts have been shown to produce a range of complex natural products with high biological activity. In this project you will investigate the chemistry of these compounds and their potential for treating a range of diseases. Via collaborations we obtain desert and marine samples from which you will isolate unique bacterial and fungal strains. Cultivating these under different conditions gives rise to varied metabolic profiles. You will use a range of chromatographic techniques to isolate the compounds from these cultured microbes. The next step will be to identify their chemical structures using spectroscopic techniques followed by testing the compounds in a range of biological assays to ascertain their biological activity and potential for use against human diseases.

As part of this project you will gain skills in microbiology, natural product chemistry and biological testing. You will work in a committed group of scientists interested in investigating natural resources for their potential to treat disease. The group is located in the Marine Biodiscovery Centre which houses state-of-the-art facilities and scientists with skills in microbiology, molecular biology, chemical analysis and natural product chemistry.

Applicants must hold, or expect to receive, a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, biochemistry or pharmacy with knowledge of Organic chemistry, Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectrometry.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, it is for self-funded students only.

References

1. “Dermacozines, a new phenazine family from deep-sea dermacocci isolated from a Mariana Trench sediment”, Wael M. Abdel-Mageed, Bruce F. Milne, Marcell Wagner, Marc Schumacher, Peter Sandor, Wasu Pathom-aree, Michael Goodfellow, Alan T. Bull, Koki Horikoshi, Rainer Ebel, Marc Diederich, Hans-Peter Fiedler and Marcel Jaspars, Org. Biomol. Chem., 2010, 8, 2352-2362
2. “Diverse Metabolic Profiles of a Streptomyces Strain Isolated from a Hyper-arid Environment” Mostafa E. Rateb, Wael E. Houssen, William T. A. Harrison, Hai Deng, Chinyere K. Okoro, Juan A. Asenjo, Barbara A. Andrews, Alan T. Bull, Michael Goodfellow, Rainer Ebel, and Marcel Jaspars, J. Nat. Prod. 2011, 74, 1965-1971

Application Process:

Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for PhD in Chemistry, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. Please ensure that you quote the project title and supervisor on the application form.

Informal inquiries can be made to Professor M Jaspars, ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

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