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2013 PhD Studentship, University College London, UK

University College London

PhD Studentship in Metagenomic Drug Discovery for UK and EU Students at UCL Eastman Dental Institute, University College London in UK 2013 

About Scholarship: This project aims to isolate and identify antimicrobial compounds produced by the microbial inhabitants of humans and animals from for example the oral cavity and the gut. The oral cavity and colon are two of the most colonized sites within an animal; they contain a diverse community of bacteria that live in complex but relatively stable, mixed species communities.

The communities are also easily accessible for microbiological and molecular analysis (saliva and faeces). There is a great deal of interaction between the different bacteria in these communities, for example the production of quorum sensing molecules, gene transfer and the production of antimicrobial compounds such as bacteriocins.

The latter is extremely common and it is likely that many species of bacteria that inhabit these environments produce such compounds as they have evolved to live within an extremely competitive environment. However, as it is estimated that at most only 50% of the bacterial species that inhabit these environments are capable of being grown in the laboratory, the extent of antimicrobial compound production is unknown. We will use a metagenomic approach to clone entire human and animal oral and faecal metagenomes into suitable bacterial hosts.

It is proposed in this application to screen the cloned metagenomes for the production of antimicrobial compounds against a range of bacteria pathogenic to humans and animals. Any novel molecules will be characterised and developed with a view to using them in the clinical setting. 

Study: Metagenomic Drug Discovery

Course Level: PhD degree

Scholarship By: University College London

Location: UK

Duration: 3 years

Value: £15,590 per annum 


-BSc (First preferable, or 2:1) in microbiology or related discipline

-MSc in microbiology or related discipline

-Able to work well as part of a team

-Basic microbiology & molecular biology skills

-Able to think critically and logically 

Scholarship Open for: UK and EU students 

Apply: Online or by post

Deadline: 16th November 2012 

Further Information:

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