Applications are invited to the above role to work in collaboration with researchers from Unilever and the other partner companies and will have the opportunity to use their initiative to gain new insights into the applications of novel anti-
biofilm compounds and to extend their research portfolio.
Hygiene in homecare, industrial, paper and marine industry is increasingly challenging. Surfaces of homecare, hospital and commercial properties, paper products and ship hulls are constantly challenged by microbial contamination.
The hygiene problem is addressed mostly by using biocidal antimicrobials such as heavy metals and quaternary ammonium compounds.
However, these present environmental and toxicological hazards and also present a risk of increasing microbial resistance.
Unilever discovered a series of novel compounds that inhibit biofilm development. These compounds are non-bactericidal, should be less likely to select for resistance and have great potential as components of homecare products and as antibiofilm coatings.
In this multi-partner, Innovate-funded project, the research challenge for the post holder will be to determine (a) the mode(s) of action of the lead antibiofilm compound, (b) whether resistance is selected in bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus following prolonged exposure to specific antibiofilm compounds and (c) identify the mechanism(s) conferring resistance if any arise.
Candidates must hold a PhD (or be near completion) or equivalent in Molecular Microbiology / Biofilms / Mode of action of antibacterials.
Candidates must also have significant expertise in anti-biofilm compound mode of action studies, including quorum sensing pathways and be experienced in the application of diverse biofilm assays and interpretation of transcriptomic analyses.
This full-time fixed-term post is available from 4 March 2019 until 1 November 2019. Job share arrangements may be considered.