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BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship: Enzymatic Production of Biologically Inspired Nanoscale Material

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Newcastle University
28 June 2012
. .
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Earth, Environment & Energy

Further information

BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship: Enzymatic Production of Biologically Inspired Nanoscale Material 
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Reference Code: CB082

Name of the supervisors
Dr Andrew Pike
Dr Eimer Tuite
Professor Bernard Connolly

This studentship is sponsored by BBSRC as part of the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) -

Duration of the award
4 years (MRes Medical and Molecular Biosciences followed by a three year PhD)

Project description
The facile synthesis of functional 1D nanomaterials remains a challenge. The inherent structural properties of DNA, 2 nm wide but many microns in length, makes it an attractive substrate for the fabrication of 1D conductive material or nanowires. This project aims to develop the research expertise of the student in synthetic biology within the emerging field of nanoscale material fabrication by taking a purely biological approach to produce DNA based hybrid materials. The student will use biology’s own tools, enzymes, to build functional DNA both rapidly and with excellent control. The key goal is to develop a set of enzymatic protocols (based on polymerases) which are compatible with a range of chemical components (modified triphosphates) to produce extended 1D nanoscale structures that exhibit novel functionalities.

This project sits at the interface of biology and chemistry and will focus on the re-design of existing, natural biological systems to incorporate modified nucleotides. The expected outcome of the project will be to demonstrate that DNA-hybrid nanomaterials can be developed for useful purposes, and in particular the incorporation of conductive nucleotides into long DNA constructs for nanowire fabrication.

During the project the student will be given training in research skills across the biosciences and the physical sciences through involvement in two distinct research laboratories, Chemical Nanoscience Laboratory (Dr Andrew Pike and Dr Eimer Tuite) and the Biochemistry Research Laboratory of Professor Bernard Connolly.

Value of the Award and Eligibility
Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,590 (2012/13). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Person Specification
Candidates should have or expect to achieve a 1st class or 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant biological/chemical science subject.

How to Apply
You must complete the University's postgraduate application form. Select " Doctor of Philosophy – School of Chemistry ” as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CB082.

Closing date for applications
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Further Information
For further details, please contact:
Dr Andrew Pike
School of Chemistry
Telephone: +44 (0)191 222 7061

Newcastle University

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