Competitive three year full time studentship in the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Research Title : Bacterial responses to antibiotics: Genome-wide dynamics and molecular mechanisms
Main supervisor Dr Hee-Jeon Hong
Eligibility:Only open to UK/EU applicants (who must be permanently resident in UK/EU)
Start date: 19th September 2016
Bursary: £14057 pa for academic year 2016/17 & fees
Closing date: 21st February 2016
Applicants should be of the highest quality and capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 3 years. Requirement a good Honours degree (2.1 or equivalent).
EU applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate minimum score level 6 in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking with overall minimum score 7.0 issued since the 23rd April 2015 by an approved test centre please see web site below. Or an undergraduate degree awarded by a recognised UK university within the last two years.
We are using harmless, soil derived Gram-positive bacteria, Actinomycetes, as model systems to investigate the mechanisms involved in sensing, responding and adapting to antibiotic attack. Actinomycetes produce about 70% of known antibiotics and are the ultimate source of most antibiotic resistance genes. Consequently they possess many genes involved in sensing and responding to extracellular antibiotics, and are an ideal system to use for furthering the understanding of the processes involved. Primarily, we focus on how damage caused externally by antibiotics is communicated to the bacterial chromosome, and how the subsequent reprogramming of gene expression acts to counteract the damage. Our research involves using functional genomics approaches including transcriptome and proteome profiling to study and characterise the response when growing cultures of bacterial cells are challenged with antibiotics. Ultimately, understanding the dynamic link between transcriptional and translational processes will extend our knowledge of the functions and systems that are important for bacterial resistance/tolerance to the antibiotic, and open ways by which these can be exploited in future antibiotic therapies. We also aim to progress this research into pathogens responsible for hospital acquired infections. This work has direct implications for public health, contributing to efforts to understand the molecular basis of defensive responses and resistance to antibiotics in bacteria.
As part of your training you will be required to assist in demonstrating on undergraduate practicals during semesters without further remuneration.
Further information on the project please contact Dr Hee-Jeon Hong e-mail address [email protected]
How to apply
Please complete the Application Form, which you can download from
With your application please enclose a CV and scanned copy of your degree certificates and transcripts and letter from awarding body plus two signed academic references. Additionally if appropriate a valid IELTS Academic test score certificate.
Please carefully note that applications only accepted by e-mail to the following address: [email protected]
YOU MUST NOT SEND ANY QUERIES, APPLICATION, CV OR OTHER DOCUMENTS VIA FINDAPHD
1. Hesketh, A., Deery, M., and Hong, H.-J. (2015) High-resolution mass spectrometry based proteomic analysis of the response to vancomycin-induced cell wall stress in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). J Proteome Res, 14:2915-2928.
2. Kwun, M.J. & Hong, H.-J. (2014) The activity of glycopeptide antibiotics against resistant bacteria correlates with their ability to induce the resistance system. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 58:6303-6310.
3. Truman, A.W., Kwun, M.J., Cheng, J., Yang, S.H., Shu, J.-W., and Hong, H.-J. (2014) Antibiotic resistance mechanisms inform discovery: Identification and characterization of a novel Amycolatopsis strain producing Ristocetin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 58:5687-5695.
4. Hesketh, A., Hill, C., Mokhtar, J, Novotna, G., Tran, N., Bibb, M., & Hong, H.-J. (2011) Genome-wide dynamics of a bacterial response to antibiotics that target the cell envelope. BMC Genomics, 12:226.
5. Koteva, K., Hong, H.-J., Wang, X.D., Nazi, I., Hughes, D., Naldrett, M.J., Butter, M.J., & Wright, G.D. (2010) A vancomycin photoprobe identifies the histidine kinase VanSsc as a vancomycin receptor. Nat Chem Biol, 6:327-329.