The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.
We are looking for a motivated student for a master thesis in an important and interesting area. The thesis will cover antibiotic degradation in the area of environmental microbiology.
Master thesis Anaerobic transformation of antibiotics by sulfate reducing bacteriaStarting from 01.05.2018
Antibiotics are intensively used for decades for human health and cattle production but we now see fast spreading of antibiotic resistance. Standard wastewater treatment plants cannot efficiently eliminate antibiotic residues from waste water and these residues are introduced to water and soil.
In our group we focus on the anaerobic transformation of antibiotics as a cost-effective and promising way to reduce antibiotics loads in the environment.
In the proposed study, our model antibiotic sulfamethoxazole which is extensively used in cattle farms will be investigated. Recently we have confirmed in batch cultures that sulfate reducing bacteria (both enriched cultures and pure strains) can transform sulfamethoxazole even at high concentration.
- The goal of the proposed Master thesis is to study the mechanism of sulfamethoxazole anaerobic transformation by sulfate reducing bacteria.
- The first aspect of this thesis work is the identification of transformation products by utilizing analytical techniques including mass spectrometry.
- The second step will be the establishment of an activity test with which we can trace enzymatic activities.
- With such a test at hand we will employ chromatographic and native electrophoretic techniques to separate the involved enzymes. Enzyme identification will be done by mass spectrometry.
- Bachelor in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or similar
- independent and reliably working
- good command of English
- A close and good care
- Exciting insights into the work of a leading research institutes
- Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel
- Work in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams
- The possibility to introduce your own ideas and impulses from the beginning