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University of Nottingham: Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Institution University of Nottingham
Department School of Life Sciences
Study type Research


Our Microbiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry grouping is made up of the following available PhD and MRes courses:

  • Fungal Biology

  • Molecular Microbiology

  • Molecular Biology

  • Biochemistry

  • Molecular Biosciences

  • Biomedical Sciences

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • Life sciences ranked 9th in the UK for research power

  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally

  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent

  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

The MRes/PhD titles you can choose from in this field are:

Fungal Biology

Research in this area will examine the biochemistry, ecology, genetics, genomics and physiology of both filamentous fungi and yeasts.

Work investigates both fundamental and applied aspects of fungal biology. Specific projects may focus on:

  • Fungal secondary metabolism

  • Fungal human and plant pathogens

  • Evolution of antifungal resistance and development of novel antifungal compounds

  • Use of fungi in food production

  • Lichen biochemistry

  • Biotechnological applications of fungi

Molecular Biology

The molecular approach to studying biological systems has underpinned huge advances in knowledge and promises much for the future in the understanding and application of biological principles. At Nottingham, we are using molecular approaches to study a wide range of model as well as innovative biological systems.

Current research in this field includes:

  • Investigating eukaryotic gene expression and vertebrate embryogenesis, including aspects of the development of the nervous system

  • Archaea and yeast

  • The basis of bacterial motility.

  • Ion channels

  • Receptor-mediated carcinogenesis

Molecular Microbiology

Research in this area will examine systems responsible for maintaining genome integrity and securing accurate chromosome transmission in bacteria, archaea, yeast and vertebrates.

It will also examine the genetics and biochemistry of bacterial motility. Specific projects may focus on:

  • The mechanics of homologous recombination and DNA repair

  • Telomere biology

  • Genome dynamics

Molecular Biosciences

Research in this area focuses on:

  • The analysis of structure, function and dynamics of telomeres in yeast and parasites, and of centromeric DNA in mammalian cells

  • Investigation of stress-response networks in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and of micro RNAs during the evolution of developmental processes in Drosophila

  • Investigation of blood substitutes from microbial cell factories and of artificial gas-carrying fluids for enhancing growth of cells in culture


The wide-ranging interests and expertise of academic supervisors means that research projects are available from single molecule analyses though to studies at the level of whole organisms, and multi-disciplinary research and training is strongly supported in this environment.

Some of the research we undertake in the School of Life Sciences include:

  • Protein structure/function analysis and human disease

  • Membrane proteins - structure and roles as biological transporters

  • Mechanisms of intracellular transport

  • Cell-cell communication via extracellular vesicles

  • Autophagy in health and disease

Biomedical Sciences

Our biomedical sciences supervisors focus on the application of life sciences to the medium of healthcare.

Our students enjoy expert supervision, extensive training, leading facilities and strong industrial links with major pharma companies.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Master of Research - MRes

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