PhD Studentship in Bacterial Microcompartment Engineering
Bacterial cytoplasmic metabolism is not a collection of free enzymes and substrates. Twenty percent of bacteria compartmentalize their cytoplasm to protect it from specific enzyme-catalysed metabolic activities with toxic small-molecule intermediates by placing the enzymes within thin-shelled selectively-permeable protein microcompartments. In this study, the student will help to exploit microcompartments to help bacterial production of toxic recombinant proteins for cancer therapy, by building up microcompartments round the toxic proteins as E. coli makes them. Other potential aspects of microcompartment study will include: the use of small molecules to prevent cross-linking to try to stop bacteria making their own microcompartments, potentially an effective treatment, or investigations of the role of microcompartments in assisting E. coli, the commonest bacterium causing urinary tract infection, to grow in the urinary tract.
Key duties and responsibilities
- The PhD candidate will conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision of Prof. Michael Prentice.
- The successful candidate must be able to apply microbiology and molecular biology skills in the laboratory. Significant interdisciplinary interactions with collaborators in UCC and externally (UK) will be required.
- Good communication, organisation, interpersonal skills and the ability to work within a project team are essential.
Additional tasks will include:
- The dissemination of results at conferences and through scientific articles.
- Attendance at postgraduate training courses.
- Regular reporting of research data.
- Involvement in Educational and Public Engagement (EPE) activities.
- Occasional laboratory supervision Bachelor or Master students.
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