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Combatting antimicrobial resistance: regulation of multiple antibiotic resistance genes by a single transcription factor (Newcastle)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Khan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Many bacterial pathogens are now resistant to multiple antibiotics, even the so-called ‘last resort’ antibiotics. The challenges from multi-drug resistant bacteria, or “super-bugs”, is liable to worsen with few antibiotics in the pipeline. In the words of our PM David Cameron, ‘the world could soon be "cast back into the dark ages of medicine" unless action is taken to tackle the growing threat of resistance to antibiotics’. The studentship will investigate a paradigm system in which, worryingly, a single regulatory protein controls the expression of a beta-lactamase and also a multi-drug resistance pump in the enteric pathogen Vibrio cholerae. It is imperative that we understand why these complex regulatory systems have arisen and how they operate to control different aspects of bacterial resistance and virulence before they spread more widely to other foodborne bacteria such as Campylobacter or Salmonella. We propose a detailed characterization of the new system we have identified. The knowledge gained in characterizing the transcriptional regulator could lead to the identification of small-molecules that attenuate the expression of the resistance genes, and represent valuable leads for a new class of antibiotics - "resistance suppressors". Notably, since these ‘suppressors’ do not kill or inhibit bacterial growth, they represent a new paradigm of antibacterial treatment. The studentship will use state of the art techniques in molecular biology, microbiology, and structural biology. There will be the opportunities to acquire skills in the Co-Supervisors laboratories in Durham and Liverpool.

For further information see the website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/camb/

To apply:
Please submit a full CV and covering letter directly to [email protected]

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship under the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham DTP. The successful applicant will receive research costs, tuition fees and stipend (£14,057 for 2015-16). The PhD will start in September 2016. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. EU candidates must have been resident in the UK for 3 years in order to receive full support. There are 2 stages to the application process.

References

Bulmer DM, Kharraz L, Grant AJ, Dean P, Morgan FJ, Karavolos MH, Doble AC, McGhie EJ, Koronakis V, Daniel RA, Mastroeni P, and C. M. Anjam Khan (2012). The bacterial cystoskeleton modulates motility, type 3 secretion, and colonization in Salmonella. PLoS Pathogens, 8(1), e1002500.

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