Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme
   
   
  

Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy projects

 

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Please note that the list of projects available will be increased over the next few weeks so please check frequently. Project details may also be subject to change before September 2017.

 

BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships

 

 

 

View all Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy projects

Making a new DNA cut and paste gene editing tool using CRISPR protein fusions

Description
Modelling and analysis of atomic resolution structures fo Cas9, Cpf1, Casposon-Cas1 and Cas8/CasA. To test for protein production of novel fusions of these CRISPR gene editing enzymes as a pilot for testing DNA cut and paste activities. Simple genetic analysis to assess gene-fusion function.

Pharmaceutical drug discovery using fungi

Description
Fungi are treasure chests for metabolites with various biological activities than can be used in pharmaceutical applications. While hundreds of novel fungal genomes have been sequenced, exploitation of their pharmaceutical potential is difficult, since most metabolites are not produced under standard laboratory conditions. The overall aim of this PhD is to identify novel small molecules from fungal sources.

Proteins in Alien Environments - towards enzyme activity in non-aqueous solvent systems.

Description
There are a number of enzymes of potential industrial interest that can be expressed from Halophilic bacteria, with the primary advantage that they are functional in molar concentrations of salt and at high concentrations of organic solvents.

Bioproduction of acetaldehyde as a no-distill route to ethanol and as a platform chemical from a C1 feedstock.

Description
The laboratory rotation will entail the biochemical synthesis of acetaldehyde in a C1 metabolising host organism, Cupriavidus necator. The strain construction will impart familiarity with molecular biology and systems biology approaches. The platform chemical will be produced using both sugar and CO2 / H2 as a feedstock.

A radical approach to biorefining - Radical SAM enzymes

Description
There is currently little computational data available for SAM-radical enzymes, and advances in this area will help us to better understand the opportunities and limitations for these enzymes.

Evaluating the influence of complex process environments on biocatalyst activity

Description
Biotechnology applied to the treatment of polluted water resources can play an important role in addressing the challenge of water security and ensuring suitable water quality for reuse. New applications are now being investigated within the water industry to address the global emerging issue of bioactive chemicals e.g. pharmaceuticals and steroids. Utilisation of enzymes to remediate bioactive chemicals allows society to reclaim and reuse water as a resource.

Efficient biochemical production of isoprene using a synthetically designed pathway from a C1 feedstock

Description
The laboratory rotation will entail the biochemical synthesis of a precursor to isoprene in a C1 metabolising host organism, Cupriavidus necator. The strain construction will impart familiarity with molecular biology and systems biology approaches. The platform chemical will be produced using both sugar and CO2 / H2 as a feedstock.

Genetic engineering of pyruvate decarboxylase to enhance acetaldehyde production in C. necator

Description
The overall project aim is to produce acetaldehyde in Cupriavidus necator, using CO2 as a feedstock. The pyruvate carbon overflow produced under nutrient limiting conditions will be converted to acetaldehyde using over-expressed pyruvate decarboxylase secreted into the periplasm

Engineering reaction control in radical SAM enzymes

Description
Radical SAM enzymes are known for their unique reactions and thermodynamic reaction control of crucial radical reaction steps. Detailed understanding of the factors responsible for this reaction control, would enable us to rationally alter and redesign these enzymes and their reactions.

Hybrid chemo-enzymatic catalysts for carbon-carbon bond formation

Description
The engineering of enzymes to contain non-natural functionalities can expand their reaction scope towards useful transformations, not encountered in nature. Chemical catalysts based on non-natural transition metals can be introduced into proteins, to create hybrid chemo-enzymatic catalysts with synergistic properties.

Use of Ionic Liquids for biomaterials based 3D printing

Description
3D-printing has gained a lot of interest, particularly in fields where bespoke and personalised items are required.This can include areas such as medical implants and micro-3D-fluidic reactors. One aspect holding up both much broader and accessible implementation of 3D-printing, and also its utility for bio-based systems, is the restricted range of materials that can be printed. Biopolymers suhc as silks, keratins and lignocellulose, in particular, suffer from poor solubility in both water and organic solvents that have, to date, limited their utility in the processes required for printing.

Making vitamin H sustainable - developing biotin overproduction approaches

Description
The radical SAM enzyme BioB is a known slow step in biotin production. One mini-project will focus on obtaining metagenomic data from Rothamsted samples to expand the known range of bioB variants.
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Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 8466946
Email: bbdtp@nottingham.ac.uk