Professor CG Whiteley: POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH PROJECTS
1. Neurological Disorders
Amyloid fibrils, oxygen radicals and senile plaques are characteristics of Alzheimers disease. The project would involve the extraction and isolation of the enzyme superoxide dismutase (an oxygen radical scavenger) and its interaction with amyloid peptides in an attempt to elucidate the mechanism, etiology and pathogenesis of Alzheimers disease
2. Fructooligosaccharides [scFOS]
a) Medicinal properties
Biochemical mechanisms associated with the interaction of short chain prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides with crucial enzymes that are associated with various medical disorders.
b) Enzymatic synthesis
Enzyme purification and biochemical characterization of known and new candidate fructosyltransferases enzymes for industrial scFOS production from refined sugar.
3. Nanotechnology and disease
Biological synthesis of silver/platinum/gold nanoparticles by the fungus (Aspergillus) and biomolecular templates (protein cages, viral capsids) and their role against biomedical targets, such as ribonuclease, thiazolekinase and superoxide dismutase in Plasmodium falciparum (Malaria) or trypanosoma (sleeping sickness)
4. Structure-function of eukaryotic exosome/degradosome
The exosome/degradosome regulates the breakdown of mRNA in eukaryotes/prokaryotes respectively and may be used as a biomedical target against pathogenic organisms. The project would involve the extraction, characterisation and physiological function of either the eukaryotic exosome of yeast or the prokaryotic degradosome of E.coli
5. Bioremediation of industrial wastewaters
Role of enzymes, isolated from micro-organisms on the biodegradation of recalcitrant pollutants in industrial wastewater. Specific targets are textile dye effluents; paper and pulp; mining; olive mill; petroleum/oil spills; fishing and dairy industry; wine distillates.