Room temperature high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of electrochemically-controlled redox metalloproteins at intense beamlines
Supervisors: Prof. Kylie A. Vincent, Dr Philip A. Ash from University of Oxford, Dr. Stephen P. Best from University of Melbourne and Dr Sofia Diaz-Moreno from Diamond Light Source Ltd.
This project addresses key challenges in X-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of metal- containing proteins, namely how to control and protect against photoreduction and X-ray damage and how to generate protein samples in well-defined oxidation states. These questions are highly relevant on beamlines like I20, where the high intensity allows study of low protein concentrations (typical for biological studies) but in turn is more likely to induce damage to the protein. Exploiting expertise of Vincent and Ash in Oxford on electrochemical control of metalloproteins, we explore the applicability of a pulsed solution electrochemical flow approach, demonstrated by Best, to protect proteins during room temperature solution measurements of defined redox states. We will set up this approach on the I20 beamline and aim to generate data on a range of metalloprotein sites which will serve as models for understanding XAS of more complex enzymes.
This will include electron transfer proteins with haem and non-haem iron sites, copper and nickel sites and an iron-sulphur cluster. We then extend the study to a direct electrochemical approach in which the protein of interest is immobilised on a carbon electrode and exchanges electrons directly, enabling fast catalytic oxidation and reduction reactions in an enzyme to be controlled in situ during XAS measurement.
Research will be carried out 50% at Diamond Light Source which is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. The remaining 50% research will be conducted in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. The Science Transit shuttle provides quick and convenient travel between the University of Oxford Science Area and Harwell Campus.
This project is funded for four years by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council – BBSRC. BBSRC eligibility criteria apply. EU nationals who do not meet BBSRC residence criteria are encouraged to contact the Programme Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to check their eligibility for BBSRC funding before submitting a formal application. Successful students will receive a stipend of no less than the standard RCUK stipend rate, currently set at £14,777 per year, which will usually be supplemented by the industrial partner.
For further information about the project, please email: email@example.com or Prof. Kylie Vincent: firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline: 12.00noon (UK time) on Friday, 4th May
In order to submit a formal application, please follow the link: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/courses-open-for-studentships?wssl=1
and scroll down to Interdisciplinary Bioscience (BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership)
Queries relating to the application and admissions process should be directed to: email@example.com