I studied Physics Engineering at Politecnico di Milano (Milano, Italy), where I earned a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree. Both of them consisted mainly of solid state physics classes, with a particular focus on semiconductors (for electronics and photonics application) and magnetic nanostructures. My first experience in research was at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, France), where I spent 10 months working as a trainee for my master thesis project.
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Brief project description:
This studentship project addresses key challenges in X-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of metal-containing proteins, namely how to control and protect against photoreduction and X-ray damage and how to generate protein samples in well-defined oxidation states. These questions are highly relevant on beamlines like I20 at Diamond, where the high intensity allows the study of low protein concentrations (typical for biological studies) but in turn is more likely to induce damage to the protein. Exploiting expertise of the project supervisors in Oxford on electrochemical control of metalloproteins, the studentship will explore the applicability of a pulsed solution electrochemical flow approach, demonstrated by Stephen Best (Univeristy of Melbourne), to protect proteins during room temperature solution measurements of defined redox states.
With support from the Diamond supervisor, Sofia Diaz-Moreno, the project will set up this approach on the I20 beamline and aim to generate data on a range of metalloprotein sites which will serve as models for understanding XAS of more complex enzymes. This will include electron transfer proteins with haem and non-haem iron sites, copper and nickel sites and an iron-sulphur cluster. The studentship will then extend the study to a direct electrochemical approach in which the protein of interest is immobilised on a carbon electrode and exchanges electrons directly, enabling fast catalytic oxidation and reduction reactions in an enzyme to be controlled in situ during XAS measurement.
Research will be carried out 50% at Diamond Light Source which is the UK's national synchrotron science facililty, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. The remaining 50% research will be conducted in the Department of Chemistry at the Univesity of Oxford. The Science Transit shuttle provides quick and convenient travel between the Universtiy of Oxford Science Area and Harwell Campus.
This studentship is linked with the BBSRC Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership.
This project is funded for four years by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council – BBSRC. BBSRC eligibility criteria apply. EU nationals who do not meet BBSRC residence criteria are encouraged to contact the Programme Administrator (email@example.com) to check their eligibility for BBSRC funding before submitting a formal application. Successful students will receive a stipend of no less than the standard RCUK stipend rate, currently set at £14,777 per year, which will usually be supplemented by the industrial partner.
For further information about the project, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. Kylie Vincent: email@example.com
How to Apply:
In order to submit a formal application, please follow the link: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/courses-open-for-studentships?wssl=1 and scroll down to Interdisciplinary Bioscience (BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership)
Application deadline: 12.00noon (UK time) on Friday, 15th June
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Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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