4-YEAR EPSRC CASE Studentship: Multiscale Molecular Simulations to Probe Lipid Bilayer Modifications Causing Antimicrobial Resistance
Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford
Industrial Sponsor: IBM
Supervisors: Professor Mark Sansom, Dr Maike Bublitz & Dr Phill Stansfeld
Please quote Studentship Source Code: EPSRC1
Molecular simulations allow us to probe the physical properties of increasingly complex and bio-realistic models of cell membranes. This will allow us to probe the role of lipid modifications to bacterial membranes which render bacteria resistance to ‘last defence’ antibiotics such as daptomycin and to new generation antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Multiscale molecular dynamics simulations will be used to explore lipids bilayers of various compositions, analysing their physical properties and calculating free energy landscapes for interaction of antibiotics and related compounds with wild type vs. modified (i.e drug resistant) membranes. This studentship will involve a collaboration between the groups of Mark Sansom and Phillip Stansfeld (Oxford Biochemistry), who have expertise in multiscale modelling of complex cell membranes, of Maike Bublitz (Oxford Biochemistry), who conducts experimental biochemistry and structural biology of cell membranes and their proteins, and IBM Research, Hartree Centre, with expertise in Big Data and cognitive systems approaches to molecular simulations. The project will provide the student with training in molecular simulations and advanced approaches to analysis of large simulation datasets. There will also be opportunities for exposure to and collaboration with experimentalists in bacterial membrane systems. The outcome will be simulation toolkit for analysis of antibiotic interactions with complex models of bacterial membranes, providing physical insights into mechanisms of current and future antimicrobial resistance.
Students with a chemistry, biophysics or biochemistry background, ideally with some relevant undergraduate computational experience, would be preferred.
The project is supported by a 4-year CASE PhD studentship covering fees at home/EU rate plus a living allowance of not less than £14,777 per annum plus an additional supplement paid by the industrial sponsor.
To apply for this EPSRC-funded studentship, please submit an online application to the University of Oxford for admission to the D.Phil. in Biochemistry (course code: RD_BC1) by the deadline 12.00 noon (UK time) 13th April 2018. It is very important that you quote Studentship Source Code EPSRC1. No research proposal is required as part of the application. Instead you are required to upload a personal statement no more than 1000 words, describing your motivation and aptitude for this position, and your CV. Please arrange that three referees directly submit references for you.
Eligibility: ONLY students who have established UK residency are eligible to apply. For further details about residence requirements follow link: