Category: News – Page 3

PhD Bioactive Sugars – sweet alternatives to antibiotics

Norwich Research Park, Doctoral Antimicrobial Research Training (DART)

MRC iCASE PhD studentship – Bioactive sugars – sweet alternatives to antibiotics

Supervisors: Rob Field (John Innes Centre), Nathalie Juge (Quadram Institute), Simone Dedola (Iceni Diagnostics)

Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, is recognised as one of the most serious global threats to human health in the 21st century.  In this context, alternatives to antibiotics to prevent or to treat infectious diseases are urgently needed. Pathogen species present a wide range of strain-specific carbohydrates and carbohydrate-binding proteins on their cell surfaces, which provide novel opportunities and targets for detection, prevention and intervention through diet or with novel therapeutics.

This project will explore the development of new integrated chemical and biochemical methods for the production of bioactive carbohydrates that have potential to tackle bacteria associated diseases of humans and farm animals. Some of these carbohydrates will be further modified to use as probes to determine the molecular mechanisms underpinning their impact on pathogens, with the aid of structural, microbiological and cell biology studies. Specifically, they will be evaluated for their ability to act: as prebiotics for commensal microorganisms; as receptor decoys for pathogens; and as immune stimulants for the host.

Capitalising on their extensive and synergistic expertise in carbohydrate biochemistry and glycobiology, this project will be run jointly between Rob Field’s group at the John Innes Centre and Nathalie Juge’s group at Quadram Institute Bioscience. It will also involve extensive engagement with the industrial partner, Simone Dedola at Iceni Diagnostics, which is co-located on the Norwich Research Park along with JIC and QIB.  The project would suit an ambitious student, with either a chemical or a biological background, who is keen to work across traditional discipline boundaries. Previous experience in some aspect of glycosciences (chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology) is desirable but full training will be provided.

Informal enquiries may be directed to

Canada Excellence Research Chair in Glycomics

The University of Alberta invites applications for the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Glycomics. Established in 2008 by the Government of Canada, the CERC program supports world-renowned researchers and their teams to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities. The successful candidate will receive up to $20M over seven years to support an internationally-leading research program.

The appointment will be in the Faculty of Science’s Department of Chemistry, which has 34 research faculty and 230 graduate students, supported by excellent services, including X-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry, and high-field NMR laboratories.  Excellent electronic, machine, and glassblowing shops, and a biological services laboratory are other key components of departmental infrastructure.

The Chair is expected take a leadership role in continuing the long tradition of excellence that the University of Alberta has established in glycomics/glycoscience. The Chair will also become a member of the Alberta Glycomics Centre (, which comprises 11 Principal and Associate investigators who collaborate on interdisciplinary projects that seek to understand the role of complex carbohydrates in life processes. One aspect of the funding places emphasis on practical outcomes of Centre-funded research, which targets new bioactive carbohydrate derivatives as potential therapeutics and transfer of intellectual property.  In addition, the Chair will have the opportunity to join the Canadian Glycomics Network (, a Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence with a mission of identifying novel solutions to unmet medical needs through glycomics. 

Position requirements include:

• A PhD in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, or an aligned field

• An exceptional internationally-recognized research program directed towards the role of complex carbohydrates in biological processes as applied to mammalian systems. Demonstration of international recognition must include a sustained record of high impact publications, presentations at international meetings and research awards

• A proven track record of excellence in teaching, mentoring, research training, outreach, professional service, and a demonstrated commitment to supporting the involvement of diverse groups in research

The appointment will be at the Full Professor level and the salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Interested applicants should provide: 1) a complete curriculum vitae; 2) a maximum three-page description of current and future research; 3) a maximum two-page summary of contributions to outreach; professional service and their philosophy on involving diverse groups in research; and 4) the names and contact information of five referees. As the University of Alberta and the CERC program are committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, we ask applicants to complete the self-identification questionnaire:

The recruitment and nomination process involves open advertising with a statement of commitment to equity in the nomination and appointment process.  

The position will remain open until filled; however, review of applications will commence on March 7, 2018. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by that date.

Applications must be submitted to:

RSC Carbohydrate Group ECR Meeting

Venue: Keele University

Dates: 12-13th April 2018

In keeping with the CarbGroup’s philosophy, we are organising an Early Career Researchers meeting with plenty of opportunities to speak and network. This will be accompanied by talks from several leading academics from across the glycoscience field, who will give their perspective on funding opportunities and how that supports their research programs.

If you are an early career researcher interested in giving an oral presentation please send an abstract (250 words max.) to Gavin Miller ( before 16/03/18.

The meeting will take place at Keele Hall, a 19th-century mansion house at Keele, now standing within the campus of Keele University. Registration is £50 and will include 3 Course Conference Dinner, Breakfast and Premier En-Suite Accomodation (on campus). Parking (free) is available at the conference centre. Registration and accommodation will open 19/02/17 through a dedicated website and event booking facility.

For updates regarding this event please see here or follow @CarbGroupUK on Twitter

Please contact Gavin Miller ( with any questions in the meantime.

Bright SCIdea Challenge – win £1000

SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) has launched a new student initiative – the Bright SCIdea Challenge.

This is a national competition designed to give teams of 3-5 students an idea of what it’s like to develop a business plan and pitch a concept for their own product or service.

Enter today to access FREE business training and develop skills in entrepreneurship and pitching. Business plan and training materials are available to all registered teams now!

Form a team and register now to gain valuable business skills, enhance your CV and to be in with a chance to win £1,000!

Register now! Entry deadline: Sunday 18 February 2018

See here for more details

MSC Co-Fund Career Development & Mobility Fellowships

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Co-Fund Career Development & Mobility Fellowships in Medical Device and Research Development

MedTrain is a new Industry-Academia Training, Career Development and Mobility Fellowship Programme at CÚRAM, co-funded by the EU, Offering prestigious two-year fellowships to eligible incoming researchers in the area of Medical Device Research and Development, including research areas: Glycoscience and Protein Engineering

The MedTrain Programme aims to enhance the creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative potential of researchers, via advanced training, international and inter-sectoral mobility. Fellows will be based at one of four CÚRAM academic organisations: National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), University College Cork (UCC), University College Dublin (UCD) or the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Fellowships include secondment to a non-academic research partner, located in any country of the world appropriate to further the research, training and career development needs of each fellow.

Within the Advanced Glycoscience Research Cluster opportunities are available within the research groups of:

Professor Lokesh Joshi, Co-Director CÚRAM; Director Glycoscience Research Group; VP for Research NUI Galway

Progressing the knowledge and future functionalization of cells, materials and devices with the ultimate goal of engineering glyco-enabled surfaces. Our research targets the refinement and testing of extracellular matrix (ECM), examining and profiling the vital attributes provided by oligo- and polysaccharides and their interactions with ECM components. It is anticipated that through the identification and targeting of discrete glycan motifs, suitable ECM models will be produced for enhanced biological interactions, assisting in rational engineering strategies for molecular and surface modification of materials, cells, tissues and implantable devices.

Dr Michelle Kilcoyne, Lecturer in Glycosciences, NUI Galway

The Carbohydrate Signalling Group is interested in elucidating carbohydrate-mediated host-pathogen interactions. Capsules shield pathogenic bacteria from immune-surveillance by the host immune system but specific interactions and responses are not well understood. Implanted medical device materials often elicit an immune response from host tissue and are subject to device infections, which can be difficult to treat and clear. Developing a better understanding of the host-pathogen interactions that allow bacteria to avoid the host immune system, in particular focusing on complement activation pathways and subsequent cell responses, could lead to novel strategies in avoiding immune response to implanted medical device materials.

To find out more or express an interest, please contact Prof. Lokesh Joshi ( or Dr. Michelle Kilcoyne ( Working with your identified mentor to develop a research proposal for submission prior to the call deadline (anticipated March 2018).

Next call will be in early 2018 with anticipated closing dates in March 2018.

Successful applicants will be expected to have commenced their projects by 1st June 2018.

PhD ‘Design, Chemical Synthesis and Evaluation of Nucleoside Analogues’

Supervisor: Dr Gavin J Miller, Keele University, UK

Project Description

All viruses, irrespective of the disease they cause, have to replicate in order to survive. Drugs that block viral RNA or DNA replication by mimicking the natural building blocks of RNA and DNA (A, C, G, T/U) are known as nucleoside analogues. There are three distinct features of nucleosides that make them the preferred treatment for an infectious disease where a nucleoside is available: high barrier to resistance,broad spectrum of activity and high efficacy. This can be observed in the treatments of HSV (Aciclovir and Ganciclovir), HIV (Tenofovir, Zidovudine, Abacavir Emtricitabine and Lamivudine), HBV (Entecavir, Tenofovi, Adefovir, Lamivudine and Telbivudine) and HCV (Sofosbuvir).

Your PhD project will involve the design and chemical synthesis of a new class of nucleoside analogue, focusing on mimetic modifications to the ribose ring. You will also be involved in applying the mimetic nucleoside within the synthesis of current anti-viral drugs. You will receive training in organic synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry and medicinal chemistry. Transferable skills such as reporting of results orally and in writing, time management, project planning and management will be also developed.

Find out more & apply here

Supergen Hub Leaders Consultation – final event

RCUK plans to invest £5M in a multi-disciplinary Supergen Bioenergy Hub to act as a focal point for UK bioenergy research. The Hub will connect academia with industrial and policy stakeholders to focus on sustainable bioenergy development. Prof. Patricia Thornley from The University of Manchester has been appointed to lead the Hub and is currently carrying out a consultation to establish the research priorities that the new hub will address from 2018-2022 and to identify appropriate research partners and stakeholders.

We would like to invite you to our final consultation event which is taking place in Cardiff on Thursday 16th November 2017. There will also be a session supporting Early Career Researchers.

Register by 10am, Thursday 9th November here: