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Exploring the Biotechnological Applications of Magnetosomes from Magnetotactic Bacteria

Important description
Magnetosomes, organelles synthesized by magnetotactic bacteria e.g. Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum, Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense and Desulfovibrio magneticus etc, are magnetite crystals enveloped in a lipid bilayer membrane consisting mainly of phospholipids and proteins. These biogenic magnetic particles have well-controlled size and morphology. Further, they show high and even dispersion in aqueous solution in comparison to artificially synthesized magnetic particles. Most importantly, they can be surface-modified or functionalized with biomolecules (e.g. proteins and DNAs) for targeting, delivery, separation and imaging purposes. In brief, they demonstrate enormous potential in biotechnological applications. In this PhD project, the student will (1) investigate the cultivation condition of magnetotactic bacteria for magnetosome production, (2) develop a genetic system for recombinant protein production in magnetotactic bacteria and for surface-functionalization of magnetosomes, and (3) explore the potential applications of magnetosomes in protein engineering. The student will join the newly inaugurated ChELSI institute at the University of Sheffield. He/she will receive a broad training in molecular biology, protein biochemistry, protein engineering and biophysics.

Eligibility and other criteria
Self-Funded PhD Students Only
If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work with this supervisor will be considered.

Application deadline
Applications accepted all year round

Additional information, and important URL

Applicants should hold or expect to gain a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree in (bio)chemical engineering, biological engineering, biological sciences, chemistry or a related discipline. A strong interest in biotechnology is essential. Experience or background knowledge of molecular biology and protein biochemistry will be advantageous.
If English is not your first language then you must have International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) average of 6.5 or above with at least 5.5 in each component.
See: http://www.shef.ac.uk/postgraduate/info/englang
Applicants need to be self-sponsored or may apply for a Faculty Scholarship - more information can be found on http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scholarships

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