A fully-funded PhD scholarship in the Antibiotic & Herbicide Discovery Group of Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa is available at the University of Adelaide, based at the Waite Research Institute. The successful candidate will work within a multidisciplinary team funded by an Australian Research Council grant awarded to Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa and Professor Marilyn Anderson, including a postdoctoral researcher.

Herbicide resistance represents one of the greatest threats to global food security and given that our current herbicides have begun to fail, novel approaches are urgently required to develop new treatments. This project aims to tackle herbicide resistance by identifying new herbicide candidates that inhibit amino acid biosynthesis. Specifically, we will exploit the similarity between bacterial and plant enzymes in these pathways to repurpose failed antibiotics. The expected outcomes of this exciting project include advances in our knowledge of the structure, function and inhibition of novel herbicide targets, the identification of compounds with herbicidal activity, and significant long-term contributions towards food security. The multidisciplinary PhD project will integrate innovative approaches in biochemistry, molecular biology and plant biology.

Techniques that will be acquired throughout PhD
Protein expression and purification techniques; enzyme assays; X-ray crystallography; cell culture; bacteriology assays; metabolomics and transcriptomics; inhibitor discovery and characterisation techniques.

Required skills
- Strong biochemistry, molecular biology or plant biology background
- First Class Honours or Masters degree in related field
- Strong work ethic and highly ambitious
- Good communication skills

Applicants must be Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia, New Zealand citizens or international students who are acceptable as candidates for a PhD degree at the University of Adelaide – refer to PhD eligibility requirements. The successful applicant must commence by 30 June 2023.


More information
Dr Tatiana Soares da Costa

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