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PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Circadian Clocking of Gene Expression and its Application in Synthetic Biology

Newcastle University - Faculty of Medical Sciences - Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,553
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th March 2019
Closes: 10th June 2019
Reference: CB155

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

23 September 2019 for 3.5 years.

Application closing date

Applications will be considered until a suitable candidate is found.


Circadian clock is a timing mechanism allowing organisms to synchronise their activity with day/night cycles. Simplest version of a clock is found in photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Potentially this clock can be transplanted into any microorganism to schedule activation of different pathways around the clock.

In this project we aim to design elements of circadian control for synthetic biology applications in industrially relevant microorganisms.

This project is part of large consortium developing Portabolomics, the innovative approach to synthetic biology, aiming at increasing an efficiency and flexibility of design of new industrial applications.

In this project we will characterise integral elements and parameters of circadian clock at the molecular level. Additionally we are going to focus on factors that receive signal from the clock to switch on/off transcription of the target genes. Our results will improve current model of the clock and increase chances of its successful “transplantation” into non-photosynthetic organism. In a pilot experiment, we will test the clock in E.coli for its ability to generate rhythms in gene expression.

The project will be based in Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology of Newcastle University, which accommodates world-leading scientists in the field of biology of bacterial cell and state of the art equipment. The successful candidate will acquire training in a wide range of biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology techniques.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Yulia Yuzenkova, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is highly advantageous. Previous laboratory experience is essential.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information: 
• insert the programme code 8300F* in the programme of study section 
• select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences as the programme of study 
• insert the studentship code CB155 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code CB155 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
• attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications


For further details, please contact:

Dr Y Yuzenkova
Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3227

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