PhD Studentship: Improving Structure Based Drug Design (BBSRC Funded)

University of Exeter - College of Life and Environmental Sciences

The South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP) is a BBSRC-funded PhD training programme in the biosciences, delivered by a consortium comprising the Universities of Bristol (lead), Bath, Cardiff, Exeter, and Rothamsted Research. Together, these institutions present a distinctive cadre of bioscience research staff and students with established international, national and regional networks and widely recognised research excellence. The partnership has a strong track record in advancing knowledge through high quality research and teaching in partnership with industry and government.

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP).  Up to 4 fully-funded studentships are being offered to start in September 2018 at the University of Exeter.

Academic Supervisors:

Main supervisor: Dr Nicholas Harmer
Co-supervisor: Dr Isobel Norville
Co-supervisor: Prof Clive Butler

Project description:

In this project, you will develop an approach to improve crystallisation of drug targets to aid structure based drug design. The project will use an already proven synthetic biology approach to identify protein variants with better crystallisation properties. You will develop and optimise this system so that it can be applied to a wide range of protein targets. After this, you will have the opportunity to apply the method to a variety of interesting protein targets.

The project will offer the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills, including protein chemistry, molecular biology, and structural biology. There will also be considerable opportunities to interact with the partner Dstl, and other collaborators as appropriate. The project will offer a challenging and interdisciplinary PhD in cutting edge research areas. All of these methods are well established in the supervisor’s group and their collaborators. There will be opportunities to also learn associated methods that the laboratories specialise in as the project develops. This project will be based in the recently established Living Systems Institute in Exeter, which houses a diverse group of leading interdisciplinary researchers. You will join a vibrant group of young researchers with interests across a range of diseases.

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South West England