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[ccp4bb] PhD scholarship at Massey University, New Zealand

Dear All,
Applications are being sought for:

PhD scholarship at the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Project title: Solving the end-cap structure of a biological nanorod derived from the Ff bacteriophage (f1, M13 or fd)

Academic mentors: A/Prof Jasna Rakonjac; A/Prof Andrew Sutherland-Smith

This project aims to determine the cap structure of a versatile biological filament (Ff filamentous bacteriophage). Ff (M13, f1 or fd) is a natural and affordable platform for a wide array of technologies, from nano-scale batteries to cancer therapies and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Detailed structure of the end-caps will help understand how the Ff filamentous phage is formed naturally and will aid in developing/improving filamentous phage applications.

The fine structure of the Ff end-caps has remained a mystery, as they constitute only 2% of the phage filament mass. We have overcome this problem by assembling short rods (we named Ff-nano; Fig. 1) where the end-caps amount to as much as 40% of the total particle mass. An interesting property of the Ff-nano particles is that they easily form 2D crystals (Fig. 2). The Ff-nano particles will be used for analyses of the end-cap structure using cryo-electron microscopy and using X-ray crystallography.

Candidates with a BSc(Hons) or MSc degree in biochemistry, biotechnology, molecular biology or microbiology are encouraged to apply.


A/Prof Jasna Rakonjac; j.rakonjac@massey.ac.nz

A/Prof Andrew Sutherland-Smith; A.J.Sutherland-Smith@massey.ac.nz

Massey University PhD programme:


Andrew Sutherland-Smith, PhD
Institute of Fundamental Sciences
Massey University
Private Bag 11222
Palmerston North 4442
New Zealand

Phone: (+64)69517701

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