Graduate Studies in Chemistry

 

Currently advertised vacancies

DPhil studentship in the area of soft condensed matter at the nanometre scale: 'single molecule trapping and measurement'

Start Date: 1st October 2018

Supervisor: Professor Madhavi Krishnan
(research webpage: http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/madhavi-krishnan.aspx )

Applications are invited for a fully-funded DPhil (PhD) studentship supervised by Prof. Madhavi Krishnan in Physical & Theoretical Chemistry. Prof. Madhavi Krishnan is looking for a talented and highly motivated doctoral student with a strong undergraduate background in physics, biophysics, or physical chemistry, to join her research group in taking forward an exciting emerging area of microscopy-based single molecule measurement.

The group works in the broad area of soft condensed matter at the nanometre scale and has a specific interest in measuring and understanding electrostatics in molecular-scale matter, e.g., biological macromolecules. Using the repulsive electrostatic interaction in solution, the group recently demonstrated the ability to spatially trap single molecules in solution without the use of external forces (Nature, 2010; Nature Nanotechnology, 2012; Nature Nanotechnology, 2017). This "field-free" trap now enables measurements of the physical properties of macromolecules such as their electrical charge, size and 3D conformation with unprecedented precision, one at a time and in real time. The experimental approaches involved centre around optical imaging and spectroscopy and nanofabrication techniques. The work also relies on theory and simulation, specifically focusing on numerical mean-field electrostatics calculations and Brownian Dynamics simulations.

The ideal candidate will hold a degree in physics, physical chemistry, biophysics, or a related area. Biochemistry students with a flair for more physical approaches to problems are also encouraged to apply.  This studentship will cover College and University fees at Home/EU rate plus provide a maintenance grant at a UK Research Council rate – £14,777 per annum for three years.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Prof.  Krishnan prior to submitting a formal application. Please send a single PDF consisting of a cover letter (explaining your background and motivation) and CV including contact information for your references, by email to: madhavi.krishnan@chem.ox.ac.uk

You will be required to submit a formal application (http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate ) for a DPhil in Physical & Theoretical Chemistry

Please quote: MK/2018 in your application form.

Application deadline:  the position will be advertised until filled but you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Queries related to the application process should be directed to: graduate.admissions@chem.ox.ac.uk

The Department of Chemistry is the holder of Athena SWAN Silver Award.


DPhil CASE studentship in Inorganic/Physical Chemistry research area

Project title: Developing an On-Chip Reagentless Cancer screen
Start Date: October 2018
Supervisor: Professor Jason Davis (research webpage: https://www.jjdgroup.co.uk )

Professor Davis is looking for energised strong applicants interested in a multidisciplinary DPhil that spans molecular films, state of the art electrochemistry, electronics, fluidics and diagnostics. In order to reach high levels of diagnostic assay sensitivity and to move to a detection format which is potentially cheap, portable and multiplexable (a prerequisite for early cancer diagnosis, as no single marker offers adequate sensitivity/selectivity), label free electrical detection methods offer much. Such methods are natively very sensitive, readily integrated into microelectronic and microfluidic configurations, utilize no moving components, motors, mirrors, resonant units or required imaging. Assays are generated by controllably immobilizing receptive biomolecules (typically antibodies, nucleic acids or peptides) on electrodes and converting the target protein binding event into a measureable electrical signal. One of the most sensitive and powerful means of doing this is by electrochemical impedance (EIS). We have successfully shown that translation of this approach to clinical samples is viable. This project, in collaboration with Osler Diagnostics, seeks to develop new derived reagentless detection tools, receptive and responsive molecular films and an on-chip label free electrical detection to facilitate early, pre-symptomatic, cancer diagnosis.

The ideal candidate will hold a degree in physics, physical chemistry, biophysics, or a related area. Biochemistry students with a flair for more physical approaches to problems are also encouraged to apply.

Candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Davis by email to: jason.davis@chem.ox.ac.uk and send a single PDF consisting of a cover letter (explaining your background and motivation) and CV including contact information for your references, prior to submitting a formal application.

You will be required to submit a formal application for a DPhil in Inorganic Chemistry

Application deadline: This position will be advertised until filled, but you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The studentship will be funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Osler Diagnostics. It will cover College and University fees at Home rate plus provide a maintenance grant at a UK Research Council rate – £14,777 per annum for 3 years in the first instance, with a possibility of an extension for an additional 6 months.

Please quote: JJD/EPSRCCASE/2018 in your application form.

Candidates must meet the EPSRC funding eligibility criteria.

Queries related to the application process should be directed to: graduate.admissions@chem.ox.ac.uk

The Department of Chemistry is the holder of Athena SWAN Silver Award.

Two DPhil Studentships in Electron Paramagnetic Resonance – Royal Society Funded and based at the University of Oxford

Start Date: 1st October 2018

Supervisor: Dr Alice Bowen (http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/alice-bowen.aspx )

Applications are invited for two 4-year DPhil studentships under the supervision of Dr Alice Bowen (Royal Society-EPSRC Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow) at the Department of Chemistry (Inorganic Chemistry), Oxford University in the field of pulsed Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR).

The projects in Dr Bowen’s group aim to develop and apply pulsed dipolar spectroscopy (PDS) techniques, such as double electron-electron resonance (DEER) and the relaxation induced dipolar modulation experiment (RIDME), to study novel hetero-spin labelled systems containing two or more different types of spin centre.

PDS EPR is an important technique in structural biology; dipolar interactions measured between pairs of spin centres (1.5 to ca. 10 nm apart) can be related to the distance, and in some cases orientation, between the spin centres. This distance range matches the size of many biological systems and the distance restraints determined provide information about the structure and in some cases the dynamics of the system being investigated.

The University of Oxford provides world-class facilities for research and skills training. In particular the Centre for Advanced Electron Spin Resonance located within the Department of Chemistry is a world leading facility for EPR research (http://caesr-web.chem.ox.ac.uk/home )

Project details:

Project 1

This project will investigate the application of optically activated spin-labels, either based on triplet states or formed by photo-switching of molecules, for distance measurements in systems containing two or more spin centres. The use of optically activated spin labels has the potential to control the complexity of the system by ‘turning-on’ or leaving off dipolar interactions within the system. New types of spin labels will be investigated in collaboration with Prof. Snorri Sigurdsson (University of Iceland; https://notendur.hi.is/snorrisi/ ) and the techniques developed as part of this project will be applied to biologically important CREB-bZIP system in collaboration with Dr Sarah Shammas (Department of Biochemistry, Oxford University;

https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/graduateschool/supervisors/sarah-shammas ).

Project 2

This project will involve using model systems, containing different forms of stable radical centres including lanthanide metals synthesised in collaboration with Prof. Stephen Faulkner (Department of Chemistry, Oxford University; http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/stephen-faulkner.aspx) to optimise experimental techniques before applying the techniques to interesting biological systems, including the p7 viroporin in collaboration with Prof. Nicole Zitzmann (Department of Biochemistry, Oxford University;  https://www.bioch.ox.ac.uk/research/zitzmann ).

Additional Information

Applicants for both these funded, 4-year DPhil studentships should have an undergraduate or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Natural Sciences etc.), an interest in simulations and experimental work, problem solving and creative thinking. No prior experience of Electron spin Resonance or other forms of spectroscopy is necessary.

The studentship funding will cover university fees (payed at current RCUK Home/EU rate) and a stipend of not less than £14,533 per annum will be funded by the Royal Society. Candidates can be of any nationality, however funding towards the university fees will only be provided up to the Home/EU rate.

One studentship is offered in association with a Crewe Scholarship at Lincoln College, Oxford (http://www.lincoln.ox.ac.uk/ ) which will cover the college fees. Lincoln College has a long established tradition of supporting graduate students; having one of the largest and the oldest Middle Common Room (MCR) in Oxford. The college also has a large stock of graduate housing close to the city centre.

The other studentship is offered with a funded position at Jesus College, Oxford or another college of the candidates choosing. The college system in Oxford ensures that graduate students are immersed in an international and academically broad community outside of their doctoral studies.

More information can be found here:

http://research.chem.ox.ac.uk/alice-bowen.aspx

http://caesr-web.chem.ox.ac.uk/home

Interested students are invited to contact alice.bowen@chem.ox.ac.uk for informal discussions prior to submitting a formal application for DPhil in Inorganic Chemistry. (http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate ).

Please quote: AB/EPR/2018 in your application form.

Application deadline:  Positions will be advertised until filled but you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Queries related to application process should be directed to: graduate.admissions@chem.ox.ac.uk 


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.

 

Project Description:

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.

Funding Notes

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 (lorraine.damerell@dtc.ox.ac.uk) 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 willl usually be supplemented by the industrial partner.

Application deadline

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 Centre for Doctoral Training) -> BBSRC DTP-Diamond DPhil Studentship with Prof. Kylie Vincent. This course will remain open until the place has been filled. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Querries relating to the application and admissions process should be directed to: lorraine.damerell@dtc.ox.ac.uk
 

 
http://postgraduate.chem.ox.ac.uk/vacancies.aspx