BBSRC PhD iCASE available (start Sep 2015)
I have a BBSRC-funded iCASE PhD available with Biosyntha Technologies.
Global climate change and finite fuel reserves are driving interest in biologically derived fuel molecules. Such molecules include isoprenoid-derived biofuels, short chain alcohols, polyketide-derived fuels, alkanes and alkenes. As naturally produced however, these potential biofuel molecules may not match the standards, or have the properties, that industry and legislation requires, nor are they likely to be made in quantities or by organisms suitable for large scale fuel production. Metabolic engineering can address this challenge. To achieve this, information about natural systems accomplish their biochemistry is required. This project will address this area by exploiting the metabolic diversity of the fungi. Fungi produce many different compounds of biotechnological interest, including alkanes and alkenes, branched alcohols and esters.
The PhD candidate will undertake research including whole genome comparisons in addition to substrate labelling and metabolomics analysis to identify candidate gene sequences. Illumina RNA- seq and/or proteomics facilities will be exploited to capture transcriptional/translational diversity to enhance gene discovery. Heterologous expression of candidate gene(s) in a suitable microbial host will allow in vitro enzymatic characterisation and reconstruction of putative metabolic pathways in vivo. The PhD candidate will benefit from a multidisciplinary project covering genomics and molecular biology, metabolomics, biochemistry and enzymology. They will also have the chance to interact widely with colleagues at Exeter, Biosyntha and our other collaborating laboratories both in academia and industry.
A strong first degree (at least an Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent) in a relevant subject.
This studentship will be funded by BBSRC and is available to UK nationals and other EU nationals that have resided in the UK for three years prior to commencing the studentship. If you meet this criterion, funding will be provided for tuition fees and stipend. If you are a citizen of a EU member state you will eligible for a fees-only award.
Please check eligibility criteria via this link: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf
Further information and how to apply can be found on the Exeter funding/studying pages.