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PhD Studentship in Biocatalysis: New Routes to Amides through Discovery and Development of Amide Ligase Enzymes

The University of Manchester

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th March 2019
Closes: 15th April 2019

Applications are invited for a Ph.D. studentship in Biocatalysis commencing in September 2019 supervised by Prof. Jason Micklefield in collaboration with industrial affiliates at CoEBio3 including GSK, AstraZeneca and Merck.

In this project we aim to discover and evolve new amide ligase enzymes for more selective and efficient construction of amide bonds. Coupling of carboxylic acids and amines to form amides is one of the most fundamental reactions in chemistry and biology. Many top pharmaceuticals, and other important products, include one or more amide bonds. Whilst the coupling of an acid and an amine to form an amide is synthetically trivial, it remains extremely inefficient. Consequently, there is an urgent need for new, more efficient and sustainable methods for preparing amides. One potential solution could be the use of enzymes that nature has evolved for amide biosynthesis.

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a minimum upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences or a related degree. Training will be provided in protein engineering, directed evolution, enzyme characterization (including X-ray crystallography), enzyme assays and microbiology. Candidates are not expected to have expertise in these areas at the outset; above all, scientific curiosity and a desire to work in a multidisciplinary environment are most important.

Applications are required by 15th April 2019 and should include a full CV, with details of all University course grades to date, contact details of at least two academic referees and a short statement or cover letter outlining your suitability for the PhD position. Applications and requests for further particulars should have the subject heading “CoEBio3 PhD Studentship in Biocatalysis”  and should be addressed to: Professor Jason Micklefield, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, The University of Manchester, 131 Princess Street, Manchester M1 7DN. Tel: 0161 306-4509


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