This project has now been filled.
Project supervisors: Professor Matthew I. Gibson Chemistry / Warwick Medical School
University of Registration: University of Warwick
Non-Academic partner: Dr Simone Dedola - Iceni Diagnostics Limited
Project title: Nano-Probes for Point of Care Diagnostics
The need for new, field ready diagnostics is of ever growing importance to combat both the spread of antimicrobial resistant diseases but also to improve the management of disease in both humans and animals. Techniques such as genome sequencing have rapidly developed, but still require expensive infrastructure, trained operators and the isolated pathogens often have to be cultured before analysis can take place. Therefore, point of care devices/methods which enable direct interrogation and identification of disease could have a huge impact. For example, there are no current methods for rapid identification of campylobacter in chickens (causing ~ 300,000 food poison cases in UK per annum), avian influenza in turkeys (which is not only a threat to the livestock but also for zoonosis) or bovine tuberculosis. All of these cost the UK farming industry millions per year as well as being a public health risk.
An emerging diagnostic platform is that based upon plasmonic nanoparticles, particularly gold nanoparticles – due to their strong colouration and unique change in optical properties (colour) upon binding targets they are ideal sensors for ‘easy point of care diagnostics’ which the GibsonGroup have used for bacterial and toxin detection. This project will combine the expertise in the GibsonGroup in developing new biosensors (Molecular Biosystems, 2016, 12, 341, J. Mater. Chem. B., 2016, 4, 3046) with that of Iceni Diagnostics; a young and agile UK Biotech.
The project will seek to develop these nanosensors towards validated targets for detection, making use of precision polymer and materials chemistry, with modern glycobiology and nanoscience. They will be primarily based in the GibsonGroup labs, which include a Synthetic, Analytical, Cell Culture and a new (2016) microbiology laboratory, split across the department of Chemistry and Warwick Medical School. To read more, please visit the GibsonGroup webpage.
Closing date for applications: 8th January 2017
iCASE students must fulfil the MIBTP entry requirements and will join the MIBTP cohort for the taught modules and masterclasses during the first term. iCASE students can then start their PhD project in Jan 2018 but must complete a 3-month miniproject (at a non-home institution) before the end of their first year. They will remain as an integral part of the MIBTP cohort and take part in the core networking activities and transferable skills training. MIBTP iCase.