PhD Studentship available

Stephen Spiro, Biological Sciences, UEA S.Spiro at uea.ac.uk
Wed Mar 3 12:16:11 EST 1999

A BBSRC-funded PhD studentship is available, starting September 1999.  Any
suitably qualified student with, or expecting to obtain, an upper second
class degree is eligible to apply.  Non-UK citizens from EU countries are
eligible for fees only (ie no maintenance grant).  

The project is to study a mechanism by which gene expression can be
activated in response to exposure to nitric oxide.  In denitrifying
bacteria grown under anoxic conditions, nitrate is reduced to dinitrogen
via nitrite, nitric oxide and nitrous oxide.  Nitric oxide (NO) is a toxic
intermediate of denitrification, and protection against NO is
accomplished, at least in part, through the NO-inducible expression of a
nitric oxide reductase (encoded by the nor genes), which reduces NO to
nitrous oxide.  We are interested in the mechanism of activation of nor
expression by NO in the model denitrifying bacterium Paracoccus
denitrificans.  Activation is mediated by a transcription factor
designated Nnr, and there is good evidence to suggest that Nnr is a sensor
of NO.  We have purified Nnr, and will seek to understand the mechanisms
of signal recognition and transcription activation.

The project will involve the use of a variety of biochemical, biophysical
and molecular biological techniques and is suitable for students with
interests in molecular biology, microbiology and/or biochemistry.  The
successful applicant will join a thriving research group in a successful
Department which is well equipped for work of this nature.  There may be
opportunities to spend time in a collaborating laboratory in Amsterdam.

Further details of the School of Biological Sciences at UEA can be found
at http://www.bio.uea.ac.uk and anyone interested in the project may
contact me at s.spiro at uea.ac.uk

Stephen Spiro
Biological Sciences                Phone:  01603 593222
University of East Anglia          Fax:    01603 592250        
Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.               E-mail: s.spiro at uea.ac.uk

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