As soon as possible (30)
Postdocotroal position - Environmental Microbiology
Department of microbial biochemical and food biotechnology
The Institute for Microbial Biotechnology and Metagenomics (IMBM) is a leading research unit based within the Department of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Our research employs culture-based approaches as well as cutting edge ”omics” strategies to study microbiomes, and identify novel biosynthetic gene clusters and metabolites. The Institute focuses on the research and development of novel, high-value natural products for the pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, food & beverage and agricultural industries, as well as products for industrial processes.
CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IS 20 JULY 2019
The Nanobiotechnology Research Group in the Department of Biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape herewith invites potential students to enrol for an NRF-funded PhD or MSc degree to develop drug delivery systems for obesity. If interested, you may start either in the second semester of 2019 or the beginning of January 2020.
Obesity is a complex metabolic disease that poses serious public health problems worldwide. It is a risk factor for various life threatening chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. Treatment of obesity using anti-obesity drugs, is limited by their non-specificity, and most of them have been withdrawn from the market due to severe adverse side effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of safe and effective drugs and treatment approaches in order to curb the obesity epidemic.
Our lab and others have shown that inhibiting angiogenesis by targeting a protein expressed on dysfunctional cells lining the blood vessels represents a promising strategy for obesity treatment. However, this strategy is limited by the use of only one targeting peptide. Thus, we want to discover other novel, specific and selective targeting agents to use for obesity treatment.
An in vivo model of obesity will be used to isolate potential targeting molecules. These agents will further be validated in cell culture for use as active targeting agents for obesity treatment. The selected agents will then be used to develop drug delivery systems for obesity treatment.
Studentships (MSc and PhD) with bursary funding for South African citizens are available. Experience in either cell biology, histology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or molecular biology (especially PCR) is required.
The Nanobiotechnology Research Group in the Biotechnology Department at the University of the University of the Western Cape herewith invites potential students to enrol for THRIP-funded PhD or MSc degree to develop nano-enabled wound dressing for chronic wounds and burns. If interested, you may start either in the second semester of 2019, or the beginning of January 2020.
An effective and complete process of wound healing is critical for the general well-being of patients, including burn victims and people living with diabetes. Current clinical treatments of wounds and ulcers, including topical antimicrobial agents, while useful, are ineffective against resistant microorganisms. The increasing prevalence of burns and chronic wounds raises the need for development of novel antimicrobial and wound healing agents that do not suffer the same fate. Recent development in nanotechnology for medical and pharmaceutical applications provide great opportunities for improving chronic wound treatments.
Our lab intends to use nanotechnology and plant biodiversity for the production of nanoparticles, and study their cellular and molecular effects during wound healing, in order to improve future therapeutic interventions. In turn, these novel nanotechnology-based materials will be incorporated in advanced medical devices. The incumbent student will participate in industry-related development activities for the production of the nano-enabled devices.
Studentships (MSc and PhD) with bursary funding for South African citizens are available for 3 years. Experience in either nanotechnology, cell biology, histology, biochemistry, microbiology or molecular biology is required.
Two NRF-funded MSc projects are available in the University of Free State’s Research Chair in Pathogenic Yeast, under the supervision of Dr Olihile Sebolai.
Climate-induced coral bleaching is considered an existential threat to coral reefs globally and is exacerbated by other stressors, including coral diseases. Some corals are more resistant to bleaching than others, for reasons that include genetic variability among colonies, species and locations or gene expression. An evolutionary perspective is therefore integral to understanding resilience in corals. The ability of corals to resist bleaching and disease is additionally dependent on maintaining a healthy microbiome (assemblage of microorganisms, including algae, other protists, bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses). While the importance of endosymbiotic microbes in coral health is well known, the effect of temperature on coral-associated bacterial diversity is not fully understood. The many interactions between the coral animal and all its symbionts provide many opportunities for adaptation to changing environments and there is some evidence that corals may adapt to climate change. However, it is recognised that they are unlikely to naturally adapt fast enough to avoid catastrophic loss of species and populations.
We are looking for a capable and energetic PhD student to work on a multidisciplinary project on the microbiome of wheat under Conservation Agriculture. The project will involve high throughput amplicon sequencing and qPCR methods, among others. The project is funded by the NRF, and there is a bursary available, however, preference will be given to students who already have their own bursary. The ideal candidate should have completed a MSc degree in Microbiology, Genetics or Biochemistry or any related field with a strong background in molecular biology. Preference will also be given to South African citizens.