Nottingham PhD Studentship: Mechanistic understanding and drivers to anti-biofilm benefits

A 4 year PhD studentship is available at the University of Nottingham titled, ‘Mechanistic understanding and drivers to anti-biofilm benefits in complex microbial models using a novel anti-biofilm technology’.

Microorganisms contained within a biofilm are much more resistant to desiccation, mechanical removal and the action of biocides and detergents. They also result in soils which are visible and malodourous. The red seaweed Delisea pulchra produces furanones that have anti-biofilm properties. Unilever has developed a library of bioinspired lactams based on these furanone structures that have been shown to have anti-biofilm properties. A key area of research is to fundamentally understand how these lactams affect fungal and polymicrobial biofilms.


Liverpool PhD Mapping Microbial Cell Interactions

This  studentship focusses on elucidating mechanistic insights relating to the mode of action (MoA) of lactams on fungal species. Thereby, it will investigate targets in fungi that are homologous to those already discovered for single spp bacteria and those that will be discovered by a parallel NBIC CTP studentship focusing on bacteria.

In addition, targets specific to fungal species will be investigated. To develop a mechanistic understating of how these materials perform in more realistic models, polymicrobial biofilm communities that include fungi and bacteria will be studied. To gain a mechanistic understanding of how the lactams affect fungi and polymicrobial biofilms, the methods employed in this studentship will include a range of analytical techniques including fluorescent and bioluminescent labelling of fungi, gene expression (transcriptomic analysis), generation of fungal deletion and overexpression strains, and metabolomics (e.g., to identify metabolites linked to odour or virulence) plus cutting edge microscopy to determine the community structure. The student will also spend time on placement at Unilever and be exposed to the industrial landscape, providing additional insight into Project Management, R&D Strategy, Regulatory, IP and Marketing.  

The closing date to apply for this studentship is Monday 12 June 2023. 

For more information and to apply, please visit the FindAPhD website.