ORGANISATION/COMPANYUniversity of East Anglia
RESEARCH FIELDBiological sciences › BotanyBiological sciences › OtherChemistry › BiochemistryChemistry › Other
RESEARCHER PROFILEFirst Stage Researcher (R1)
APPLICATION DEADLINE15/01/2021 23:00 - Europe/London
LOCATIONUnited Kingdom › Norwich
TYPE OF CONTRACTOther
OFFER STARTING DATE01/10/2021
Phytate (inositol hexakisphosphate) is a potent antinutrient of animals and humans. As the major source of inorganic phosphate in grains, oil seeds and beans of common animal feeds and human foodstuffs, there is considerable interest in the enzymology of its degradation. While animal feeds are commonly supplemented with engineered phytases, forming the basis of a $1b per annum enzyme industry, we are exploring a new approach, that is, the development of new feed crop lines with high intrinsic phytase activity through genome editing.
A PhD research studentship is available in the groups of Professors Charles Brearley (School of Biological Sciences, UEA) https://people.uea.ac.uk/c_brearley, Andrew Hemmings (School of Chemistry, UEA) https://people.uea.ac.uk/a_hemmings, and Wendy Harwood (JIC) to study a previously unexploited phytase class. The successful candidate will engineer the catalytic and physiochemical properties of these enzymes, exploiting the knowledge gained to generate high phytase wheat and/or barley lines. You will receive training in modern methods of enzyme engineering, molecular and structural biology, analytical biochemistry and crop plant genome editing. You will make extensive use of local facilities including the Centre for Structural and Molecular Biochemistry (CMSB) and external facilities such as the synchrotron at the Diamond Light Source and the BRACT transformation facility at the John Innes Centre.
Suitably qualified individuals will have a strong interest in protein chemistry, bioanalytical science and/or plant biology and will hold, or expect to hold, a first class honours undergraduate or good Masters degree (or equivalent) from any of a range of disciplines including, but not restricted to biochemistry, biological chemistry and biological sciences. Informal discussion of the project and other opportunities can be had with Professors Brearley firstname.lastname@example.org or Hemmings email@example.com.
1 McLean et al (2009) Public Health Nutr 12 (4), 444-454.
2 Acquistapace et al (2020) Journal of Biological Chemistry (published on line 14 Oct)
3 Hemmings & Brearley (2015-2019) Mapping the catalytic landscape of a novel phytase. BBSRC IPA award BB/M022978/1, £640k,
4 Scholey et al (20I7) Animal 11,1457-1463
This PhD project is in a competition for a 3 year UEA funded studentship covering stipend (£15,285 pa, 2020-21), tuition fees (Home only) and research costs. International applicants (EU/non-EU) are eligible for UEA funded studentships but they are required to fund the difference between Home and International tuition fees (which for 2021-22 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/university-information/finance-and-procurement/finance-information-for-students/tuition-fees)
This studentship length is 3 years. NB. 3 year studentships have a (non-funded) 1 year ‘registration only’ period.
2:1 in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Plant Biology
EURAXESS offer ID: 580250
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