Fully funded PhD project Available for Application- Deadline 15th Jan 2015

Investigation of the sialic acid uptake and harvesting system of a key periodontal pathogen

Several human pathogens and commensals living in the human gut and mouth utilise host-derived sugars that are present as glyco-conjugates on surface proteins of human cells. Pathogenic and other human-dwelling bacteria access these glycoprotein attached sugars via the action of dedicated glycosidases, glycan modifying enzymes and transport systems. Recent work in Sheffield has identified a novel sialic acid transport and harvesting system that is key to the ability of the important periodontal pathogen T. forsythia to harvest sialic acid from the human body and thus contributes to their virulence but which is present in several gut-dwelling anaerobes of the phylum Bacteroidetes (see references via this link).

The project will utilise a number of molecular, biochemical and structural techniques aimed at understanding the mechanism of the sialic acid transport and harvesting systems to aid development of novel therapies. You will join the research team of Dr Graham Stafford who are based in the Integrated BioSciences group in the School of Clinical Dentistry at the University of Sheffield. You will also work in collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in the group of Prof Dave Kelly.

The studentship is fully funded at the UK-EU level and is available to take up immediately.

Read more: Fully funded PhD project Available for Application- Deadline 15th Jan 2015

Funding of project to explore development of antimicrobials- Press Release

4th November 2014- Please to announce official start of collaboration with Blueberry Therapeutics

Blueberry announces that it has started collaborating with The University of Sheffield (Dr Graham Stafford, Dr Simon Jones) and Sheffield Hallam University (Professor Tom Smith) to explore development of new anti-fungal drugs and treatments. This collaborative project brings together leading academics at both of Sheffield’s world-class universities with Blueberry’s drug discovery and development expertise and will explore the development of new drugs and treatments for a wide range of fungal infections.

You can read the full press release here

iGEM 2014- The FatBerglars bag GOLD.... medals

Many Congratulations to the 2014 iGEM Sheffield team who achieved the distinguished feat of attaining a gold medal at the recent iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston, MA, last week.  The team of 8 undergraduates- pictured here (left to right: Erika, Alex, Sharan, Ben, Ben, Lara, Mustaffa; floor- Jay), presented their fantastic work on the design of a product- the Fatberglar, which encompassed an engineered biological organism designed to secrete enzymes that are able to digest Fats, Oils and Greases and hair, that contribute to the problem of Fatbergs in our urban sewer systems. 

Read more: iGEM 2014- The FatBerglars bag GOLD.... medals

EOMW meeting Denmark 2014

The group recently descended upon the beautiful coastal backwater of the Fugloscentret in Knebel, Denmark.  Chat (Pictured), Kate, Andy and Tom all presented posters while Andy (pictured speaking) and Graham gave talks.

Read more: EOMW meeting Denmark 2014

Science week 2014


The Sheffield Festival of Science and Engineering

Science week 2014 saw the group (Kate Naylor, Prachi Stafford, Andrew Frey, Charlotte Green) take an interactive workshop entitled: 'microbes: the good the bad and the downright nasty', on the road.  The 6th formers at Ridgewood academy (Doncaster) and Wickserley (Rotherham) were introduced to their own oral microflora by performing Gram stains.


Read more: Science week 2014

Jen Parker's Flagellin glycosylation paper published

Many congratulations to Jen Parker on the publication of her elegant paper on the characterisation of the flagellin glycosylation pathway that was accepted in Molecular Microbiology at the end of February.  The paper contains a large amount of hard-earned data presented beautifully and reveals several new facets of the bacterial flagellin glycosylation pathway with the order of events and several new molecular details revealed.


Read more: Jen Parker's Flagellin glycosylation paper published