Fatbergs Ahoy

As part of new, eccentric and exciting work, funded by the the EPSRC as part of the Twenty65 initiative, Liz Court recently acquired our first Fatberg in the dept....  and a fine thing it is too- see picture. 

vinblur

From the depths of a secret location in a capital city near you Liz went in the dead of night on a closed street to take microbiological samples and gain material for our studies of the microbiology of this environment.  The aim is to first understand and then attempt to develop naturally inspired solutions to aid in the increasing problem of Fats-Oils-Greases (FOGs) in our waste water systems.   Progress is being made- watch this space for more news...

 

Fully-funded Four-year BBSRC funded Industrial-CASE PhD studentship available

Uncovering underlying cellular mechanisms at work under high cell density E.coli protein production conditions in biotechnology

 A Fully-funded Four-year BBSRC funded Industrial-CASE PhD studentship funded via the White Rose Mechanistic Biology DTP is available for entry in October 2018 in an exciting collaboration between researchers at the University of Sheffield and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.  You will join a highly interdisciplinary team lead by Dr Graham Stafford alongside Professor Jeff Green and Dr Caroline Evans at Sheffield and Chris Lennon at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies with collaborators at Newcastle University (Phil Wright).

Read more: Fully-funded Four-year BBSRC funded Industrial-CASE PhD studentship available

BBSRC iCASE studentship available

Uncovering underlying cellular mechanisms at work under high cell density E.coli protein production conditions in biotechnology

 A Fully-funded Four-year BBSRC funded Industrial-CASE PhD studentship funded via the White Rose Mechanistic Biology DTP is available for entry in October 2018 in an exciting collaboration between researchers at the University of Sheffield and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.  You will join a highly interdisciplinary team lead by Dr Graham Stafford alongside Professor Jeff Green and Dr Caroline Evans at Sheffield and Chris Lennon at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies with collaborators at Newcastle University (Phil Wright).

 Protein production for biopharmaceuticals is worth over $200 billion globally, with E. coli central to this sector.  It is therefore key to more fully understand its’ behavior and physiology during industrially relevant growth conditions. This project will build on Proof-Of-Concept iTRAQ proteomics of E. coli under protein production conditions of a medically relevant model protein, with the aim to provide mechanistic insight into E. coli responses during recombinant protein production and apply this knowledge to guide media and strain engineering to enhance protein production and quality.

 

This will be achieved using a combination of a systems biology approach (iTRAQ proteomics) and rationally designed synthetic biology engineering of E.coli based on our preliminary data.  The data generated will then be extended to combine strain changes and/or nutrient changes, in design/build/ test cycles using test and production facilities both in Sheffield and at Fujifilms manufacturing facility in Billington, UK.

 The project will provide a broad training in molecular biology, biochemistry, systems biology/ proteomics and synthetic biology and will be hosted in interdisciplinary state-of-the-art facilities in the Dental School microbiology laboratories, Dept of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Sheffield. The student will also spend time (at least 3 months) with the industrial partner (Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies) during the studentship period.

Applications are invited from highly motivated and talented students holding, or expecting to obtain, the equivalent of at least an upper second (2:1) or First Class degree or MSc in a relevant subject area. Please contact Dr Graham Stafford (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Chris Lennon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for informal enquiries.

 Useful links:

http://www.stafford.group.shef.ac.uk/, https://www.whiterose-mechanisticbiology-dtp.ac.uk/

 http://www.fujifilmdiosynth.com/, https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mbb/staff/jeffgreen, http://www.cbmnetnibb.net/

 The deadline for applications will be 30th Jan 2018 and interviews will be held shortly after.

 Award details

 Each scholarship will cover the cost of UK/EU tuition fees and provides an annual, tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£14,553). Only UK applicants are eligible for the full stipend.

 

 How to apply

 - Applicants are advised to contact supervisors to discuss their application. Complete an application for admission as a postgraduate student before the 10th Jan 2018,

 http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply

 - On the application form please state you are applying for this project, state supervisor and briefly outline your reasons for doing so.

 - we plan interviews shortly after in January.

 

 

 

Fully funded PhD studentship available

We are pleased to be able to offer a fully funded PhD project, with joint funding from GSK and now invite applications for a project on the following:

Mechanisms of bacterial community dynamics in oral biofilms.

The composition of oral microbial communities within dental plaque has long been understood as key to maintenance of oral health, with disruptions contributing to health perturbation.

One key factor in the build up of oral plaque is the ability of the organisms in the microbiota to interact both with each other but also human surfaces, i.e. teeth and the mucosal secretions coating them.  While often overlooked these surfaces are coated with complex glycoprotein-rich secretions, namely saliva on the exposed tooth surfaces and gingival crevicular fluid in the case of sub-gingival surfaces.  Therefore, the ability of oral bacteria to adhere to and in some cases utilize sialloglycans, is key to colonization and in some cases nutrition of oral bacteria.  The presence of a mature biofilm is associated with periodontal disease, and a better understanding of the nutritional interactions in these microbial communities may lead to novel oral disease preventive interventions.  

The recent work of the team in Sheffield, led by Dr Stafford, has revealed the importance of glycosidase activity and the reliance of some of these harmful anaerobic bacteria on the sugars contained on the termini of human glycoprotein glycans, particularly Sialic acid.  Using a set of in vitro ‘wild’ biofilm communities and a wealth of experience and depth of resource (e.g. inhibitors, mutants, lectin reagents and glycan profiling), in combination with 16S rRNA gene microbiota analysis (with Prof William Wade, UCL, collaborator) alongside access to unique ‘health-associated’ species, we propose to examine the role of glycoprotein derived factors in these community dynamics.

We invite applications from talented, committed and enthusiastic candidates holding or expecting to hold at least a 2:1 BSc in a relevant subject to join a vibrant and forward-looking group in Sheffield.  Please contact Dr G Stafford informally for more information.  Apply via the university portal (http://www.shef.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply) by 28th Feb, 2017.

This project is part-sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline Oral consumer healthcare (supervisors Dr John Pratten, and Dr David Bradshaw) and the University of Sheffield Healthcare Gateway and will present the opportunity to interact with and visit GSK during the course of the project.  As part of the work you would gain a broad microbiological training alongside molecular techniques such as qPCR and 16S rRNA gene microbiota sequencing.

Studentships provide UK/EU Fees plus standard RCUK stipend (£14,553) and a Research Training support grant for the 3 years of the PhD.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apply at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply (indicating School of Clinical Dentistry, Dr Graham Stafford) by 28th Feb, 2017

More info: http://www.stafford.group.shef.ac.uk/

 




 

 

 

 

 

BSODR-OMIG meeting, Feb 8th, 2017 - Marianne Satur wins Postgraduate 3-minute talk prize

On 8th Feb 2017, Sheffield hosted the Postgraduate Research Prize symposium for the Oral Microbiology and Immunology Group of the BSODR, organised by Dr Graham Stafford.  The meeting was very well attended with over 50 attendees and a range of excellent talks. The standard of science was excellent with talks on a wide range of topics, ranging from periodontal microbiology to cariology of horses!

We had a UK-wide attendance from all-corners of the UK, including the most southern travellers from Plymouth and northern from Glasgow.

Marianne Satur, PhD student (yr 1) under the supervision of Graham Stafford and John Rafferty (MBB) won the prize for best 3-minute talk on her work on Biotechnological exploitation of the oral enzyme repertoire while, Spryidoula Nikoou from Kings College London won the long talk prize on her work on the newly identified toxin Candidalysin under the supervision of Julian Naglik.

We also marked the retirement of Professor Ian Douglas at this occasion with the presentation of a special photographic framing of some of his classic work on Proteus mirabilis at the end of the meeting- no dry eyes in the house (well at least from the organiser).  It has been truly a privilege to work with Professor Douglas, who formerly served as a president of OMIG and organised the 2011 BSODR in Sheffield amoung many other notable achievements.

 

Three Musketeers pass PhDs (pending minor corrections)!

A huge well done to new Drs Andy Frey, Dr Kate Naylor and Dr Charlotte Green for passing their Vivas with flying colours, who are all now proud owners of their doctoral spatulas (It's a group thing). They all had nice rigourous vivas with examiners drawn from the University of Cambridge, Trinity college-Dublin and the University of Glasgow. Very well deserved! They have all contributed so much to the group and are an example to all.

Charlotte has already secured a post doc position at the University of Nottingham with Professor Gill Stephens on a synthetic biology project aimed at engineering E.coli to resist toxic compounds key to industrial biotechnology.  We wish her the best of luck and are very sad to see her go, but look forward to hearing all about the future.

Luckily, we don’t have to say goodbye to Kate and Andy just yet as  Kate has taken a step sideways and is working with the Colgate team, supervised by Simon Whawell, Helen Colley and Craig Murdoch on a project utilising her microbiology and tissue culture skills and learning some 3D-model skills.

Andy is staying put also for now, continuing to work with Graham on an MRC Proximity to Discovery grant with PhytoQuest UK, testing novel plant derived antimicrobial compounds.  

The team are pictured here on the night of Charlotte’s viva after an orange squash or two in the aptly named ‘Wick at both Ends’.  Watch this space for papers….

Oh, and Andy... busy man: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/wylam-wood-proposal-mystery-solved-12242578