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; email@example.com
A/Prof Andrew Sutherland-Smith; A.J.Sutherland-Smith@massey.ac.nz
Massey University PhD programme: