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Newcastle University

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Founded in 1963, Newcastle University is an international centre of excellence for research and teaching with over 20,000 students attached to ~500 different first-degree programmes and ~200 postgraduate degree programmes. It ranks among the top 20 research universities in the UK, with some 2,000 researchers. Approximately 25% of departments are rated internationally 'excellent'. The Protein-Carbohydrate Recognition Laboratory is a research group within the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, which comprises 50 PIs, 100 PhD students and 200 postdoctoral research workers.

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Key competences and facilities

The Bioenergy Laboratory, within the Cell and Molecular Biosciences Institute, develops expertise in the structural biology and biochemistry of plant cell walls degrading enzymes.

Newcastle University recruited Jeff Zhang; hosted Julia Schückel,Immacolata Venditto, and Kate Cameron for secondment; and organized the network-training event 5. ESRs and ER will have access to (i) a range of molecular biology, protein purification & analytical equipment to explore enzyme specificity & kinetics; and (ii) to the Institute' Structural Biology laboratory that includes a crystallization room, robotic crystallization screens and X-ray diffraction.

Key persons

Prof H. Gilbert (scientist in charge) has established international reputation on the structural basis for the substrate & ligand specificities displayed by plant cell wall degrading enzymes.

C. Morland is a laboratory technician capable of carrying out an extensive range of molecular biology and biochemical techniques.

Dr. A. Jackson is a postdoctoral research scientist working on cellulose degradation.

F. Cuskin is a PhD student working on the mechanism of food polysaccharide degradation.