BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship – BBSRC Developing New Biomaterials for Diagnostics and Cell Culture by Combining Engineered Proteins with Novel Glass Surfaces

  • Reference Code: CB094


Name of the supervisor(s)
Professor J Lakey, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences (ICAMB)  


Duration of the award
4 years (MRes Medical and Molecular Biosciences followed by a three-year PhD).

Project description

We are entering an era of personalised medicine and many of the diagnostic tests are based upon proteins (such as antibodies) fixed to a solid surface. In many cases this immobilisation is not selective and the proteins often aggregate or lose function. This project will develop methods to bind proteins specifically to nanoparticles and glass substrates for use in diagnostic tests and for the creation of methods to culture high value cells such as Stem cells used in regenerative medicine. The student will receive a training in protein engineering, cell culture, surface science and diagnostic test design. Spending most of their time in the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, the student will also work closely with scientists within the Medical faculty and from Orla Protein Technologies to develop new products and will gain invaluable experience of commercial applications of nanobiotechnology. The successful applicant will therefore receive training in advanced aspects of synthetic biology and gain highly beneficial experience of industrial science thus providing a good choice of career paths.

Le Brun, A.P., Holt, S.A., Shah, D.S.H., Majkrzak, C.F. and Lakey, J.H. (2011) ‘The structural orientation of antibody layers bound to engineered biosensor surfaces’, Biomaterials, 32(12), pp. 3303-3311.

Shah, D.S., Thomas, M.B., Phillips, S., Cisneros, D.A., Le Brun, A.P., Holt, S.A. and Lakey, J.H. (2007) ‘Self-assembling layers created by membrane proteins on gold.’ Biochemical Society Transactions, 35(3), pp. 522-526.

Value of the Award and Eligibility

Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,590 (2012/13). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

There will also be an industrial stipend enhancement of £2.5K per year.

Person Specification

Candidates should have or expect to achieve a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree in any suitable subject e.g. Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics or Biomedical Sciences. The main criterion is informed  enthusiasm for the project.

How to Apply

You must complete the University’s postgraduate application form. Select “Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – Cell and Molecular Biosciences” as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CB094.

Closing date for applications 

Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Further Information
For further details, please contact:
Professor J Lakey

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