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PhD studentship: Novel inhibitors of transcription and mechanisms of their action

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

Further information

PhD studentship: Novel inhibitors of transcription and mechanisms of their action

Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University
Reference Code: CB062


Name of the supervisors
Dr N Zenkin, Professor J Errington
Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University

Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University

Duration of the award
3 year PhD

Project description
Worldwide spreading of drug-resistant pathogens makes mechanistic understanding of antibiotic action an urgent task. Furthermore, uncovering modes of action of new inhibitors bring new insights in the understanding of enzymes functioning. Transcription is the first step of gene expression in all living organisms, and a potent target for antibiotics. A number of RNA polymerase inhibitors were uncovered in the recent years via screening of natural and synthetic compounds. However, mechanisms of inhibition of RNA polymerase by these potential antibiotics are not known.

The focus of this project will be on investigation of mechanisms of action of novel RNA polymerase inhibitors. By using a uniquely wide range of biochemical and molecular biological techniques of investigation of transcription, the successful applicant will be determining the stages of the transcription cycle that are effected by these inhibitors, locating their binding sites on RNA polymerase, elucidate the precise mechanisms of inhibition, and using these compounds as molecular tools to dissect the function of complex transcription machinery. The project will involve studying RNA polymerases from several bacteria, including major human pathogens, as well as eukaryotic RNA polymerases.

Value of the Award and Eligibility
The award covers University fees at the UK/EU rate and a stipend matched to the minimum Research Council recommended stipend, £13,590 (2010/11). Candidates from outside UK/EU may apply but tuition fees will only be paid at the UK/EU rate.

Person Specification
Applicants will be expected to hold an upper-second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject plus further research experience and a further qualification such as, for example, an MRes. Previous laboratory experience is essential.

How to Apply
You must complete the University's postgraduate application form. Select "Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – Cell and Molecular Biosciences” 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 CB062.

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 N Zenkin

Newcastle University

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