Modelling cyanobacterial metabolism for the production of high-value products

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Dr Esteban Marcelline.marcellin@uq.edu.au

Modelling the metabolism of cyanobacteria for industrial production of chemicals has great commercial potential. Cyanobacteria are prolific phototrophs, capturing more than 25% of the planet’s carbon. Due to their native methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway and capacity to express complex plant proteins (e.g. p450), they represent an attractive Synthetic Biology platform for terpene biosynthesis. Combining physiological strain characterisation and multi-omics studies will result in the development of models and engineering strategies to achieve economically viable strains. The project aims at designing a suite of modified freshwater and marine cyanobacteria strains with increased terpene biosynthesis capabilities. This will enable solar biomanufacturing and underpin the emergence of Australian bioeconomy.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of Matlab, chemical engineering and synthetic biology would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of chemical engineering and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of bioengineering is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 4, 2021. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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