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Structure and control of DNA origami

PGR-P-138

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Competition funded
Supervisors
Dr Neil Thomson
Schools
School of Physics and Astronomy
Research groups/institutes
Molecular and Nanoscale Physics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

DNA origami is a burgeoning sub-field of bionanotechnology that uses rational design of short DNA molecules to self-assemble or fold a longer single-stranded DNA template into complex 2D and 3D patterns and objects. A far reaching goal of this field is to develop nanoscale molecular devices with high efficiency to carry out tasks such as energy harvesting and transduction, computation and therapeutic delivery for healthcare applications. The combination of self-assembly properties of DNA and information storage ability make this a promising nanomaterial for active devices. A limitation of the approach however arises from the non-integer number of base-pairs per helical turn in the B-form DNA double helix. This imparts curvature into 2D DNA origami tiles, which limits the ability of these to assemble into higher order structures necessary for future applications. This project will explore the fundamentals of the DNA self-assemble and its connection to rational design and evoke methods to control the curvature of the nanotiles. It will use a combination of molecular modelling and high resolution imaging of the nanotiles using atomic force microscopy to understand more deeply how DNA origami assembles and what governs their geometric and mechanical properties.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>The earliest start date for this project is 1 October 2020.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees">University&rsquo;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Structure and control of DNA origami&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/133/dr-neil-thomson">Dr Neil Thomson</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p><strong>Self-Funding Students</strong></p> <p><strong>Funding Eligibility</strong></p> <p><strong>UK/EU</strong> &ndash;&nbsp;Leeds Doctoral Scholarship Award paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,009 per year for 3 years, Alumni Bursary for previous graduates from the University of Leeds offering 10% discount on Academic Fees, School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Scholarship award and Bell Burnell Scholarship award&nbsp;paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,009 per year for 3 years</p> <p><strong>International Students</strong> &ndash;&nbsp;China Scholarship Council-University of Leeds Scholarship Award paying Academic Fees for 3 years, Alumni Bursary for previous graduates from the University of Leeds offering 10% discount on Academic Fees, School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Fee Only Scholarship award paying Academic Fees for 3 years and Bell Burnell Scholarship award&nbsp;paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,009 per year for 3 years</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by&nbsp;email: <a href="mailto:maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk">maps.pgr.admissions</a><a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">@leeds.ac.uk</a>, or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Neil Thomson by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="mailto:N.H.Thomson@leeds.ac.uk">N.H.Thomson@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>