Science has always been the one subject that really fascinated me, and this fascination grew even further during my undergraduate and Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Sheffield. I completed two projects during my degree, and in my third year as an undergraduate I investigated the effect on chromatin states on the frequency of crossing over using a bioinformatics approach. My final year project was more lab-based, and focused on the mechanisms behind Staphylococcus aureus persister cell formation, and involved library screening to determine which genes played a role in this process. It was during this project that I developed an interest in the stringent stress response in Staph, and decided to undertake a PhD in this field.

In October 2017 I started my PhD at the University of Sheffield in the department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, studying the mechanisms behind inhibition of Ribosome-Associated GTPases by the stringent response alarmone guanosine tetra/pentaphosphate ((p)ppGpp). This will include a mixture of molecular biology and structural biology to determine exactly what goes on during this process of inhibition at a molecular level.

The DiMeN programme in particular was incredibly attractive, as it offers a breadth of experience that comes with having multiple supervisors in different fields, and perhaps even different institutions. In addition, the collaborative nature of the cohort ensures that professional and personal networks will be forged throughout my PhD, which will be essential to my career moving forwards.

PhD Title: Bacterial GTPases – emerging new targets for antimicrobial drug design

Supervisors: Dr. Rebecca Corrigan (University of Sheffield) and Dr. John Rafferty (University of Sheffield).