Projects

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

27 / 09 / 2018

Plant Purple Acid Phytases: From Structure-Function Studies to High Phytase Crops (HEMMINGS_U19DTP)

how to apply

Phytic acid is the major source of inorganic phosphate needed for animal growth found in the grains, oil seeds and beans of common animal feeds. However, monogastric animals cannot digest phytic acid and so feeds are commonly supplemented with engineered phytases. This improves phosphorous bioavailability as well as reducing the negative impact of inorganic phosphorous excretion to the environment. In this project, a new  approach will be explored, that of developing new feed crop lines with high intrinsic phytase activity.

A PhD research studentship is available in the groups of Drs Andrew Hemmings (School of Chemistry) and Charles Brearley (School of Biological Sciences) to study a previously unexploited phytase class. The successful candidate will play a central role in attempts to engineer the catalytic and physiochemical properties of these enzymes for use in the generation of high phytase wheat. To achieve this they will receive training in modern methods of enzyme engineering, molecular and structural biology, analytical biochemistry and computational modelling. The research will make extensive use of local facilities including the Centre for Structural and Molecular Biochemistry (CMSB) and external facilities such as the synchrotron at the Diamond Light Source. Supervision will be provided by Dr Andrew Hemmings (School of Chemistry) and Dr Charles Brearley (School of Biological Sciences).

Suitably qualified individuals will have a strong interest in protein chemistry and/or bioanalytical science and will hold, or expect to hold, a first or good upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent) from any of a range of disciplines including, but not restricted to biochemistry, biological chemistry and biological sciences.