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).


 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,


 - 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.