Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences.
This is an exciting collaborative project between Diamond Light Source and the University of Leicester. This project will use Diamond Light Source and XFEL facilities to study the mechanisms of the oxygen activation catalysed by metalloenzymes.
Capturing enzyme structures while engaged in catalysis is one of the greatest challenges in structural biology and is vital for the understanding of how enzymes work. To enable this, we need to develop the ability to determine intermediate structures “kinetically” i.e. as the enzyme molecules in the crystal lattice traverse a reaction coordinate. To reduce ambiguity in the interpretation of the electron density maps, one should also correlate the atomic data with appropriate spectroscopic methods to monitor / confirm progress along the reaction cycle. In this project we will study the mechanisms of the oxygen activation catalysed by heme enzymes in crystallo. Heme is the prosthetic group found in a number of biologically important proteins which have a diverse range of biological functions. Heme enzyme catalysed processes are of significant interest in medicine, pharmacology and industry and understanding the mechanism of this crucial process will provide a great insight to the field of metalloenzymes.
This PhD studentship will support and greatly benefit from the development of new techniques for time-resolved serial crystallography at Diamond Light Source (DLS) and X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) facilities. The start of the project will coincide with the commissioning of our new sample delivery system. The successful candidate will take an active role in testing the new setup to produce high quality diffraction and spectroscopic data. The project will also involve different techniques to characterise redox state such as UV-Vis and/or resonance raman spectroscopies combined with X-ray crystallography.
The student will spend up to 18 months of their PhD in Leicester where they will be trained in sample preparation and other biophysical methods. The remainder of the PhD will be spent at DLS. The student will join XFEL Hub where there will be opportunities to travel and collect time-resolved serial crystallography data at XFEL facilities (SwissFEL, LCLS, SACLA, PAL-XFEL and Eu-XFEL).
Diamond Light Source Ltd holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
Diamond jointly funds around 15-20 studentships every year with a variety of collaborators from both academic institutions to industry partners. Students accepted onto these projects will be part of our yearly cohort intake and are supported by both their academic and Diamond supervisors, as well as a dedicated Student Engagement team based at Diamond.
Diamond studentships are typically 50% funded by Diamond and 50% by the partnering university institution (or 25% funded by Diamond if there is a third party collaborator). Students are therefore required to spend 50% of their studentship at Diamond, with most students relocating to the local area for this period. Support on suggested accomodation options are provided by Diamond.
Benefits of Diamond's jointly funded studentships
If you have further questions please contact the Student Engagement team on email@example.com.
Further guidance for students can be found here as well as more information about life at Diamond found here.
Applications are now closed.
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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