Understanding cell division in industrial and medical important bacteria


Every cell must divide to grow and propagate. Thus, a better understanding of this process can help in the development of new experimental strategies to prevent cell division and the spreading of disease-causing bacteria. We have recently identified a novel component of the bacterial cell division machinery that is present in many medical and industrial important bacteria, including the antibiotic producers Streptomyces and the TB-causing agent Mycobacteria tuberculosis.

The aim of this project is to functionally and structurally characterise a novel cell division protein in Mycobacteria using the non-pathogenetic and fast-growing Mycobacteria smegmatis as a model system.

We are looking for an enthusiastic student interested in bacterial cell biology and who is keen to develop skills in molecular microbiology, biochemistry, fluorescence microscopy and structural biology. Informal enquires about the project are encouraged. For more information about the lab, please visit www.schlimpert-lab.com.

The successful candidate will be based in the laboratory of Dr Susan Schlimpert in the Department for Molecular Microbiology at the John Innes Centre, a world-leading institute for plant and microbial research. The student will have access to cutting-edge research facilities for bacterial genetics, live cell imaging and protein biochemistry, a vibrant graduate student community and a stimulating research environment.

Through the project and the range of training opportunities available at the institute the student will obtain excellent technical and transferable skills that are highly relevant for working in academia or industry.


Two dynamin-like proteins stabilize FtsZ rings during Streptomyces sporulation. Schlimpert S, Wasserstrom S, Chandra G, Bibb MJ, Findlay KC, Flärdh K, Buttner MJ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jul 25;114(30):E6176-E6183. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1704612114. Epub 2017 Jul 7

Fluorescence Time-lapse Imaging of the Complete S. venezuelae Life Cycle Using a Microfluidic Device. Schlimpert S, Flärdh K, Buttner J. J Vis Exp. 2016 Feb 28;(108):53863. doi: 10.3791/53863.