Imagine Global Strategic Alliance Scholarship
Imagine: Imaging Life is part of a long term strategic initiative at the University of Sheffield (2022 Futures) that provides a platform for ambitious research growth in areas that the University of Sheffield is recognised for internationally (e.g. development of advanced imaging techniques and their biological application). This scholarship, as part of the Global Strategic Alliance programme, will position the student in a thriving research environment that may provide international opportunities for training and career development. The studentship will be held in the laboratory of Dr Buddhapriya Chakrabarti in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Project title: Modelling structure function relationships in bacterial cell membranes, towards a mechanistic understanding of antimicrobial resistance.
Project description: Antimicrobial resistance is at present one of the most challenging medical problems. Traditional antibiotics kill bacteria by targeting bacterial cell walls, a complex biological structure formed of cell membrane and peptidoglycan strands. Over time the bacteria develop strategies to counter the effects of drugs in order to maintain their cellular integrity and function.
This project will focus on developing quantitative models rooted in equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and classical field theories applied to polymers, membranes, colloids, gels and other soft matter systems to predict the morphology and mechanical properties of growing bacterial cell walls based on their molecular structure and understand how this process is compromised by antibiotics. This theoretical project will be developed synergistically with imaging and biochemical studies (e.g. Atomic Force Microscopy) carried out in the groups of Prof. Simon Foster and Prof. Jamie Hobbs, focusing on the pathogen S. aureus (i.e. the hospital ‘super-bug’ MRSA).
Please contact Dr Buddhapriya Chakrabarti (B.Chakrabarti@sheffield.ac.uk) for more information.
• Full tuition fees (UK, EU or Overseas).
• An annual, tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard RCUK rate (2016/17 is £14,296).
These scholarships fund up to 3.5 years full-time study, subject to satisfactory progress.
• You should have, or expect to achieve, a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry, engineering or mathematics (specialising in applied mathematics). A working knowledge of analysis of ordinary and partial differential equations is required. For Mathematics and Engineering students a familiarity of fluid mechanics, elasticity theory is required. For Physics and Chemistry students an expertise in Statistical mechanics is required. Knowledge of computer simulations including Monte Carlo, Molecular Dynamics and numerical solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations is an added plus.
• Anticipated start date October 2017.
• Awards are open to UK, EU and international applicants.
How to apply
Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis - applications are assessed on the basis of academic success and qualifications, experience, research background and a clear and well-articulated reason for being considered. For information on applying, please see https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply/applying.