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Available positions

Ph.D. Studentships in Microbiological Chemistry

A number of Ph.D. studentships are available in the area of microbiological chemistry in the research group of Professor Russell Cox. The multidisciplinary studentships will be concerned with all aspects of the biosynthesis of biologically active compounds in fungi and bacteria. One or more projects are available in each of the following general areas:

1. Use of genomics to probe fungal biosynthesis. Full genome sequencing will be used to find biosynthetic gene clusters asociated with the biosynthesis of biologically active secondary metabolites in fungi. The projects will use molecular methods to knockout, silence or heterologously express biosynthetic genes for the generation of new metabolites of pharmaceutical and agrochemical interest. New compounds will be isolated, their structures elucidated and useful compounds tested for new biological properties.

2. In vitro chemistry and biochemistry of isolated biosynthetic enzymes. These projects will involve the production of soluble active proteins for in vitro assays and the chemical synthesis of suitable substrates in enantiomerically pure form. The mechanisms, selectivity and biotechnological exploitation of the biosynthetic enzymes will be investigated.

3. The construction of synthetic gene clusters for the production of new biologically active compounds in fungi. Heterologous expression methods will be used to build up new and known gene clusters for the directed biosynthesis of useful natural products. The projects will involve the use of molecular methods coupled with analytical chemistry and small molecule structure elucidation.

Students possessing an excellent Masters degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology or allied subject who are interested in these Ph.D. positions should contact Professor Russell Cox (russell.coxoci.uni-hannover.de) for further details.