Engineering Neofunctionalization in a Model Triterpene Synthase (HEMMINGS_U17DTP1)

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


Enzyme engineering plays a major role in the UK bioeconomy as a route to the discovery of novel compounds and the production of high-value chemicals. The global market for industrial enzymes is predicted to reach $7bn by 2018.

Plant-derived natural products form a large set of compounds frequently found to have pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial biotechnology applications yet their commercial exploitation is often limited by their synthetic intractability. In a collaboration between the groups of Dr. Andrew Hemmings (University of East Anglia) and Professor Anne Osbourn (John Innes Centre) a major project is underway to develop engineered natural product biosynthetic enzymes capable of producing novel, exploitable compounds

A PhD research studentship has become available to carry out exciting research aimed at reengineering a critical triterpene biosynthetic enzyme. The successful candidate will play a central role in attempts to engineer the catalytic properties of this target. To achieve this they will receive training in cutting edge methods of protein engineering, molecular and structural biology, analytical biochemistry and computational modelling. The research will make extensive use of local facilities at UEA including the Centre for Structural and Molecular Biochemistry (CMSB) and at the John Innes Centre.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1937543 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Hans Emile Pfalzgraf