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Covalent fragments to activate industrial enzymes

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Hubbard
    Prof O'Brien
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Early Stage Researcher (ESR) position available in York on the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) FRAGNET. (FRAGNET post ESR12)
Applications are invited for an Early Stage Researcher to join a team working on fragment-based methods for activating industrial enzymes.

Work at the York Structural Biology Laboratory has recently demonstrated that small fragments can increase the activity of an enzyme[1]. A project is beginning during 2016 to extend this work in two directions. The first is to identify activators for other enzymes, such as cellulase and glycosidases which are used industrially for pulp processing and bioenergy production. The second is to explore synthetic methods for covalently attaching these activating fragments to the enzyme. This should increase the activity but crucially mean that the compounds are not lost in the industrial process.
Precise details of the project will be finalised during the Summer of 2016 so as to factor in the interests and aptitude of the successful applicant. If the primary interest is synthetic chemistry, then there are a number of different attachment strategies to be explored, including some new ideas in this area of bio-orthogonal chemistry. If the primary interest is fragment-based discovery and enzyme activation, then there are a number of industrial enzymes that are being prepared for study.
Two placements are planned. The first is to work at RCNS on synthesis of reactive fragments using amongst others the expertise that is generated by ESR3 [month 15-18]. The second placement will be in industry (to be confirmed) where the enzymology and product profiles of modified enzymes will be analysed [month 24-26].
1. Darby, J.F., et al., Discovery of selective small-molecule activators of a bacterial glycoside hydrolase. Angewandte Chemie, 2014. 53(49): p. 13419-23.

Benefits
Candidates are paid a salary and employed as Research Trainees, according to Marie Skłodowska-Curie funding specifications, and are provided with generous additional support for research, training and career development. Fellowships for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) are fundable for up to three-year periods. Applicants must meet the Marie Skłodowska-Curie eligibility criteria which requires a suitable degree for entry into a PhD programme.
For citizens of non-EU countries specific immigration formalities and rules apply.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN eligibility rules apply: candidates must not have resided or worked in the UK for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the date of selection. They must have less than four years’ research experience and must not have already been awarded a PhD.
Application
Due to the nature of the ESR funding, applicants for these PhD positions must also apply via the University jobs website- http://tinyurl.com/jz5oaho closing date 10 February 2016.
Overall administration of the FRAGNET training network is handled by the lead institution (VU University Amsterdam) and interviews for all network posts will be held in Amsterdam. Candidates for the York posts are therefore requested to submit an additional application (comprising the same key documents) to the FRAGNET co-ordinating office in accordance with instructions on the FRAGNET website (http://www.fragnet.eu/index.php/projects ). Applicants may express interest in more than one of the available positions.
Please contact Rod Hubbard for further information; [email protected]


Interviews will be held on 11 March 2016.

Applications should be made to both http://www.fragnet.eu/ and http://tinyurl.com/jz5oaho

The Department of Chemistry holds an Athena SWAN Gold Award and is committed to supporting equality and diversity for all staff and students

Funding Notes

Candidates are paid a salary and employed as Research Trainees, according to Marie Skłodowska-Curie funding specifications, and are provided with generous additional support for research, training and career development. Fellowships for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) are fundable for up to three-year periods.
For citizens of non-EU countries specific immigration formalities and rules apply.

How good is research at University of York in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 47.06

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