PhD Studentship - Understanding how Bacteria Sense and Adapt to their Environment (LEBRUN_U18DTP1)

University of East Anglia - Chemistry

Start Date: 1st October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Professor Nick Le Brun

Project description: In order to survive, bacteria must be able to sense and adapt to their (changing) environment. This includes pathogens trying to establish infection in a human host. The Rrf2 family of regulators is widespread amongst bacteria and controls some of the most important cellular pathways, including iron metabolism, iron-sulfur biogenesis and responses to oxidative and nitrosative stresses. Many Rrf2 family regulators bind an iron-sulfur cluster, and this is the key sensory module of the regulator. It turns out that, although Rrf2 proteins are very similar to one another, the type of cluster they bind, and the way that they do it, varies from one family protein to another. This project is focused on determining cluster type and coordination and understanding the important factors that control these characteristics. The consequences of altering cluster coordinating residues on cluster type and functionality will also be investigated. The successful applicant will receive training in a wide range of techniques during the project, including protein purification, anaerobic protein handling, iron-sulfur cluster chemistry, protein-DNA interactions, spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and X-ray crystallography. The project will be based mainly in the Le Brun lab (School of Chemistry at UEA), with interactions with the Hutchings and Todd Labs (School of Biological Sciences at UEA) and the Fontecilla-Camps Lab (Grenoble, France).

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk

Person specification: Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa – 2017/8), 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: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England