We are currently advertising DTP and CASE studentships for October 2019 start. The deadline for applications is the 26th November 2018.

27 / 09 / 2018

Biorthogonal chemistry for light-driven CO2 capture with bacteria-nanoparticle hybrids (BUTT_U19DTP2)

how to apply

Recycling carbon dioxide (CO2) by conversion to higher-value chemicals represents an attractive route to address the global challenges of climate change and dwindling fossil reserves. In this project you will develop novel synthetic biology that combines the best of natural and synthetic approaches to solar energy conversion for light-driven reduction of CO2 by non-photosynthetic bacteria. 

You will join research teams led by Prof Julea Butt (UEA) and Prof Rob Field (JIC) and work in a supportive environment to label bacterial flagella with azido-sugars. Bioorthogonal chemistry will attach appropriately labelled bacteria to light-harvesting nanoparticles and the resulting biohybrid materials assessed for their ability to perform light-driven CO2 reduction.

You will be trained to become expert in chemical biology and protein chemistry with skills in biorthogonal chemistry, photocatalysis, enzymology and chemical glycobiology.

The successful candidate should have (or expect to have) a UK Honours Degree (or equivalent) at 2.1 or above in Chemistry, Biochemistry or a related subject and have interests in synthetic biology, spectroscopy and photochemistry. 

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Julea Butt ( or Prof Rob Field ( with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter.


Photosensitised multiheme cytochromes as light-driven molecular wires and resistors. ChemBioChem (2018)

Light-driven H2 evolution and C=C or C=O bond hydrogenation by Shewanella oneidensis. ACS Catalysis (2017)

Detection of mSiglec-E, expressed on the surface of Chinese hamster ovary cells, using sialic acid functionalised gold nanoparticles. Analyst, (2016)