Breaking the barrier - An integrated multidisciplinary approach to kill Gram-negative bacteria through existing antibiotics by making their outer membrane permeable
2 PhD positions available at the University of Milano - Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences
What we offer:
The BREAKthrough project funded under HORIZON-TMA-MSCA-DN action, aims to educate the next generation of scientists with expertise in antimicrobial resistance. Within the doctoral programmes it offers, doctoral candidates will benefit from the following:
With the wide range of skills and experience gained in the BREAKthrough project, doctoral candidates will have broadened their career perspectives and increased their employability, whether they decide to pursue a career in academia or industry.
Antimicrobial resistance, which is caused by multi-drug-resistant bacterial pathogens is a global health emergency. Gram-negative bacteria notably hinder effective treatment because of their impermeable outer membrane (OM). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the major component of OM outer leaflet, is the key determinant of the OM barrier properties. Consequently, many standard-of-care antibiotics cannot access intracellular targets in Gram-negative species. The objective of the BREAKthrough European Training Network is to destabilize the OM to make Gram-negative bacteria sensitive to these antibiotics.
Project 1: the selected candidate will optimise and implement novel genetic screening assays that report for the loss of OM integrity based on expression of available bio-reporters and use them for the screening of libraries to assess OM leakiness, ability to sensitise to selected antibiotics and mode of action studies.
Project 2: the selected candidate will characterize non-essential envelope proteins whose function becomes essential when LPS biogenesis is compromised, or the OM outer leaflet disrupted. This project is expected to generate knowledge on new ways to impair cell envelope stability to be used to identify potentiators that can act in combination with standard of care antibiotics.
To apply please send following documents in one PDF-file to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that only complete application sets will be considered.
Application deadline: 25th February 2023
Start date (planned): June 1st 2023
Contact details: Prof. Alessandra Polissi
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences - University of Milano - Milano (Italy)