(i) A Funded PhD position is available (Available September 2019). Application deadline: 14th June 2019
1. Targeting co-infection during chemotherapy: A novel antimicrobial therapy
Dr Neil Kad and Dr Jen Hiscock at the University of Kent are looking for someone with a background in Biology and/or Chemistry who must be awarded or expect a 1st class or high 2(i) BSc (Hons) degree, or MSc with distinction. This three year PhD studentship carries a generous stipend, with Home/EU fees also paid.
Bacterial resistance to current antibiotics is one of the greatest threats to public health, predicted to prematurely end the lives of 300 million people per year by 2050. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are particularly susceptible to infection by multi-drug resistant bacteria. Current antimicrobial drugs target essential bacterial processes; however, we target a mechanism of DNA repair that is only essential when DNA is damaged by chemotherapy agents. Therefore, development of a novel DNA repair suppressive drug used alongside cancer therapy would offer a novel mode of treatment for chemotherapy patients.
This approach has already begun to generate target compounds and therefore is strongly feasible. As part of this project you will develop skills in assay development, microbiology, screening for novel antimicrobials, chemical synthesis and structural biochemistry; all under excellent supervision, but with the expectation that you will develop your own expertise to take the project further. In addition, the successful candidate will study the antimicrobial hits to establish molecular structure-antimicrobial activity relationships that will help in the development of further hits.
We work in collaboration with numerous groups and industry, therefore this highly innovative project would suit an ambitious student who wants to make a difference to the lives of millions of people worldwide.
(ii) Available self-funded PhD positions
We have a number of on-going projects that could be of interested to a capable, motivated student. If you are interested in joining us on a project or require sponsorship for a project that you feels could work in our lab then please let me know directly. Below are listed a few projects that we are currently recruiting for:
1) Understanding DNA repair in Humans. This project involves working with international collaborators to study the process of DNA repair in Eukaryotes. Compared to bacterial systems this is incredibly complex and challenging. But with our new optical systems we may be able to understand how DNA is repaired in eukaryotes for the first time.
2) Developing a new methodology to measure protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA interactions at the single molecule level. This truly innovative project would involed using laser tweezers, novel nanoprobe devices, DNA tightropes and fluorescent imaging in a concerted effort to investigate the force dimension in these interactions.
3) Molecular mechanisms of heart disease. We have developed a new assay to watch the molecules involved in heart contraction at work. Using this assay there are a huge number of investigations both about disease and fundamental mechanism of heart contraction.
(iii) We are also looking for research fellows
If you're interested in working with me I'm happy to consider supporting appropriate fellowship and studentship applications. Just email me with your project and funding ideas to get the ball rolling. The projects listed for studentships could also be expanded into postdoctoral research projects.
Why work with us?
We are a dynamic and exciting group that is really trying to answer fundamental questions, we are also not afraid to test the canons of science. If you are genuinely excited about science consider joining us.