Searching for the sialic acid sweet spot (MORRIS_U18DTP)

University of East Anglia
October 05 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Sialic acids are a type of carbohydrate that are involved in protein binding interactions of various biological systems such as virus-host cell binding, inflammation and cancer. The complex structure and low binding affinity of sialic acids has led to a lack of robust biochemical tools to study their biological behaviour in health and disease.

This PhD project will involve the development of specific glycopeptide libraries that will allow researchers to study sialic acid interactions with novel tools. The project will be highly collaborative and interdisciplinary. You will learn a range of techniques ranging from phage display screening, synthesis of carbohydrate derivatives, NMR spectroscopy and cell culture. The project will be based in Dr Chris Morris' lab (UEA School of Pharmacy) but will involve spending significant periods of time in the labs of Prof Rob Field (John Innes Centre) and Dr Jesus Angulo (UEA). There is also an opportunity to travel overseas to perform key biological experiments with promising glycopeptide molecules.

The student will have, or expect to obtain a first class, 2(i) or equivalent Honours degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacy or a related area.

Informal enquiries are welcomed; for further information please contact Dr Chris Morris (

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding notes

Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa - 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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