Fully Funded Studentship Structural biology approaches to develop new therapies for tuberculosis (MAXWELL_J14DTP)

John Innes Centre – School of Biological Sciences (UEA)

29 November 2013. Available from 1 October 2014. 

Professor Tony Maxwell

The Project:

Tuberculosis (TB) is the world’s deadliest infectious bacterial disease. DNA gyrase, an essential topoisomerase enzyme found in all bacteria, has proved to be a highly successful target for antibiotics targeted to TB and other bacterial diseases.

However, resistance to current antibiotics is a really serious problem.  Therefore, we are developing DNA gyrase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the causative agent of TB) as a target for new antibacterial compounds.  Previous work has revealed a variety of compounds that kill M. tuberculosis and that are gyrase inhibitors; these have the potential to be anti-TB drugs in the future.  We will take a structural biology approach (principally X-ray crystallography) to gain a better understanding of M. tuberculosis gyrase and to determining the molecular basis of the action of novel inhibitors targeted to this enzyme.

This knowledge will be invaluable for the design of compounds with improved properties and will enable us to anticipate, and possibly, circumvent future resistance issues. The student will gain practical experience and training in molecular biology and biochemical methods, as well as X-ray crystallography.

Entry Requirements:

2:1 or 2:2 plus Masters. English Language – IELTS 6.5 overall with 6 in each category. 


Due to funding restrictions funding for PhD studentships from BBSRC is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria including the 3-year UK residency requirements. These requirements are detailed in the BBSRC eligibility guidelines:

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In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award. All candidates should check to confirm their eligibility for funding.

The current stipend for 2013/14 is £13,726 per annum.

Making Your Application:

For further information and to apply, please visit the ‘How to Apply’ page on our website by clicking the Apply link below

Additional Information:

In keeping with the postgraduate training policy of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) all students recruited onto this programme will be required to undertake a three months internship during the second or third year of their study. The internship will offer exciting and invaluable experience of work in an area outside of research, and full support and advice will be provided by a professional team from the UEA.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) – a collaboration between the Norwich Biosciences Institutes and the University of East Anglia.  Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the Studentship Competition.  The interview dates will be the 14th and 15th January 2014.

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