Modulating properties of proteins with non-natural amino acids (SACHDEVA_U17DTP)

University of East Anglia - School of Chemistry

Start Date:  1st October 2017

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Dr Amit Sachdeva

Project description: 
Nature elegantly orchestrates complex chemical and physical transformations to accomplish functions as diverse as transmitting information across generations to harvesting energy from sunlight. Most of these processes are performed by proteins built out of 20 naturally occurring amino acids. However, naturally occurring proteins often require additional chemical functional groups, such as cofactors (metal ions and organic cofactors) and post-translational modifications for their activity. Site-specific incorporation of non-natural amino acids with novel functional groups into proteins synthesised in cells could provide new approaches to study and control biological processes, and also create new biomolecules. The goal of this project is to develop methods for site-specific incorporation of novel non-natural amino acids into proteins expressed in live cells. This project also has the potential to provide access to several medically important proteins that are difficult to access. 

Person specification:  
The successful applicant will be a talented biochemist or chemist with enthusiasm for chemistry, chemical biology, and molecular biology. The candidate will work at the forefront of chemical and synthetic biology and will develop advanced skills in chemical synthesis, various molecular biology and analytical techniques, including molecular cloning, protein expression and purification, gel electrophoresis, western blotting, and HPLC. The research work will be performed in the Chemical and Synthetic Biology laboratories housed in the School of Chemistry, University of East Anglia under the supervision of Dr. Amit Sachdeva and Prof. Andy Cammidge.

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,296pa – 2016/7), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

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South East England