Studentship Information

Supervisor: Dr Ivan Campeotto (School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham)

Secondary Supervisor: Prof Hany Elsheikha (Vet School, University of Nottingham) and Dr Halina Mikolajek (Research Complex at Harwell and Diamond Light Source, Didcot, Oxon)

Subject Area: Protein crystallography

Research Title
Structural characterisation of enzymes from Amoeba species

Research Description
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a PhD candidate to gain experience in protein crystallography applied to the fields of enzymology and parasitology at the University of Nottingham in the group of Dr Ivan Campeotto.
The group focuses on structure-guided development of vaccine prototypes and inhibitors against several neglected diseases, caused by parasites and emerging viruses. Some antigens have also been recently targeted for the development of antigenic and serological tests.
The project aims to elucidate the mechanism of enzymes from Amoeba parasites, which have been validated as drug targets, in the group of project collaborator Prof Michael Duchene (University of Vienna, Austria).
Amoeba-related diseases kill 100,000 people worldwide, especially in developing countries with poor sanitisation. In addition, some types of amoebae can cause infections of the central nervous system, such as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, which is a rare but often fatal infection that affects the brain and spinal cord.
Diffracting crystals are available for one of the enzyme targets and the student will receive training in data collection and structure determination from the beginning of the PhD. There will also be the opportunity to spend time at the Diamond Light Source and Research Complex at Harwell to perform fragment-based drug design and serial crystallography experiments in collaboration with Dr Halina Mikolajek.
Dr Campeotto’s group benefits from frequent beamtime at Diamond Light Source synchrotron and at German and French synchrotrons.
Through the collaboration with Prof Hany Elsheikha, enzyme inhibitors will be tested directly on parasite cultures and gene editing experiments will be performed to further elucidate the enzyme functions.
Candidates must be willing to work in protein crystallography in a cross-disciplinary environment, but full training will be provided to the right candidate, whose background could therefore be in either biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology or related disciplines.

Keyword Search
Protein crystallography, enzymology, parasitology, fragment-based drug design

Award Start Date: 12/06/2023

Duration of Award: 36

Terms and Conditions
This research studentship is only available to UK citizens and includes full payment of Tuition Fees and a student stipend payable for 3 years at standard BBSRC salary rate.

Applicant Qualification Requirements
BSc (Hons) 2.1 or above, or MSc/MRes (Hons) 2.1 in an appropriate scientific discipline (examples include Microbiology, Biotechnology and Biochemistry)

How to Apply
Candidates are welcome to contact Dr Ivan Campeotto ( with any queries and for an informal discussion.
Applications, comprising a covering letter of application together with a detailed CV (including the names and addresses of two referees), should be sent to
If invited to apply for this position, you will need to submit your application via NottinghamHub.

Closing Date: 05/04/2023

Click HERE for the original post.