PhD Project - Green Chemistry Biocatalysis: Glucosidase for Novel Glycoside Synthesis

Job Description

In this laboratory, we discovered, cloned, and expressed, an exceptionally robust Glucosidase enzyme (β-glucosidase from Streptomyces griseus (SgBgl)). Preliminary experiments showed that this enzyme could synthesise certain alkyl glucosides (biodegradable detergent made from glucose and alcohols) with unusually high yield, under mild conditions, in the presence of Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES).

However, this reaction was not optimized or extended to long chain derivatives. Reactions with alternative glycosyl donors or acceptors were not explored. This exciting finding opens a host of possibilities for Green Chemistry applications. Our preliminary studies show that this enzyme can be developed into a broadly useful biocatalyst by appropriate modification. Such a catalyst will have important applications in research and industry. We plan to optimize this enzyme and use it to synthesize biodegradable glycosides of various kinds. We will extend this to synthesis of industrially important bioactive glycoside derivatives.

By varying the glycosyl donor or acceptor a range of glycosylated products can, in principle, be synthesised. We are particularly interested in glycosylation of drugs, peptides and bioactives such as Quercetin, hydroxytyrosol, Daidzin

Student Requirements for this Project

A degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotrechnology or equivalent ideally with experience of biocatalysis or related areas.

Fully Funded (scholarship, fees, materials) Funding agency Science Foundation Ireland Student Stipend per annum € 17,250-23,000 Materials & Travel Budget per annum € 4,000 Fees covered by the funding Duration of funding 48 months

Deadline to submit an application 6/1/2023

If you are interested in submitting an application for this project, please complete an Expression of Interest.