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

27 / 09 / 2018

Developing Photocatalysts through Novel Biochemistry (BUTT_U19DTP1)

how to apply

Multiheme cytochromes are proposed as Nature's solution to effective long-range electron transfer. Chains of close-packed hemes span these proteins’ tertiary structures allowing electron transfer over distances exceeding cellular dimensions.

In this project you will join a dynamic team using multiheme cytochromes in novel biohybrid materials that convert sunlight into electrical and/or chemical energy by combining selective and efficient biocatalysts with the superior light-harvesting properties of abiotic photocatalysts when compared to natural photosystems. 

Working in a supportive environment you will design, prepare and study multiheme cytochromes labelled with phototriggers of visible-light driven electron transfer. Biohybrids with the desired properties will be subject to detailed photochemical study and/or assembled in whole-cells for photocatalysis. Training will be provided in techniques including molecular biology, protein purification, protein engineering, photochemistry and spectroscopy. 

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 spectroscopy, synthetic biology and photochemistry. 

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Julea Butt ( 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: A versatile strategy for photocatalysis by nonphotosynthetic microorganisms. ACS Catalysis (2017)

Carbon dots as versatile photosensitizers for solar-driven catalysis with redox enzymes. J Am Chem Soc (2016)