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Biotechnology

Biotechnology

The purpose of the study programme is to train specialists in biotechnology and other related fields. The study focuses on scientific research and its applications in the development of new products and technologies using the biological agent as the basis of the process. Special attention is paid to the specific properties of microbial, plant, and animal cells and to the acquisition of the ability to apply this knowledge in the development of new products. An integral part is the development of new technical (engineering) solutions to biotechnological processes. The study is therefore focused on a comprehensive studying of theoretical knowledge in chemical, biological, engineering and economic sciences, and on gaining practical experience and skills in the field of management and methodology of biotechnological research. Graduates of this programme can participate in basic and applied research at academic institutions and universities, but they can also participate in practice in the Czech Republic and abroad.

Careers

The graduates of the doctoral study programme Biotechnology are engaged in scientific research focused primarily on the development and optimization of processes for the production of pharmaceutical products, pure chemicals, biofuels, as well as traditional fermentation products. Other applications are directly in the biotechnology industry and related areas of the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, including in the area of bio-waste processing and environmental protection. They can hold managerial positions in development, production, control and design in commercial institutions and state administration bodies. Due to the wide concept of expertise they are prepared not only for professional work in their specialization, but also for easy adaptation to possible work in other technological and natural sciences fields. This DSP fully reflects employers' requirements for university graduates, including language skills. Employers prefer broad, interdisciplinary professional skills for future employees as well as key competencies - so-called “soft knowledge and skills”.

Programme Details

Study Language English
Standard study length 4 years
Form of study full-time , combined
Guarantor prof. Ing. Karel Melzoch, CSc.
Place of study Praha
Capacity 15 students
Programme code (national) P0711D130020
Programme Code (internal) AD302
Number of Ph.D. topics 5

Ph.D. topics for study year 2024/25

Activation of biosynthetic pathways in actinomycetes for new bioactive metabolite discoveries

Granting Departments: Department of Biotechnology
Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, v.v.i.
Supervisor: prof. Ing. Jan Masák, CSc.

Annotation


Actinomycetes, known for their production of bioactive metabolites such as antibiotics, anticancer agents, and immunosuppressants, were thought to be an exhausted resource due to the frequent rediscovery of known compounds. That this is not the case has been revealed through advanced sequencing techniques that have identified the potential of actinomycetes for new compounds at the genome level. The challenge is that many compound-producing biosynthetic pathways in actinomycetes are inactive under standard lab conditions. In this project, we will focus on our unique collection of actinomycetes from different parts of the world. Through genome sequencing of these strains, we have identified gene clusters encoding biosynthesis of metabolites with unusual structural motifs. Our goal is to employ modern methods to activate these pathways and characterize the produced compounds structurally and functionally. Optionally, we will focus on how the compounds are formed by studying key enzymes involved their biosynthesis. To accomplish this, we will employ a multidisciplinary approach that includes culturing bacteria, DNA editing, heterologous expression, bioinformatics, LC-MS with state-of-the-art instrumentation, and bioactivity testing against a panel of clinically relevant pathogens.
Contact supervisor Study place: Institute of Microbiology of the CAS, v.v.i.

Biological activity of nanoparticles prepared by "green technologies"

Granting Departments: Department of Biotechnology
Supervisor: prof. Ing. Alena Čejková, CSc.

Annotation


The proven antimicrobial effects of metal nanoparticles as a result of their unique properties have ensured a rapid increase in commercial applications. Natural forms of nanoparticles are produced by many different biotic and abiotic mechanisms. Biotechnological approaches using microbial cells/lysates or plant tissues and extracts, among others, are currently of interest, especially given the fact that this approach allows modifications in the size and shape of the nanoparticles produced and provides opportunities for targeted surface modification (functionalization). An integral part of the work will be the characterization of the chemical and biochemical properties with emphasis on the biological activity of the prepared nanoparticles.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Biotechnology, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Evaluation of the effect of secondary metabolites of <i>Monascus</i> fungus on gram-positive spore-forming bacteria

Granting Departments: Department of Biotechnology
Supervisor: prof. Dr. Ing. Petra Patáková

Annotation


The essence of the work will be to collect different types of secondary metabolites, especially pigments, formed by different fungi of the genus Monascus, in the form of both complex extracts and pure substances and to test their effect on Gram-positive sporulating bacteria, especially the genera Clostridium and Bacillus. Bacteria of these species are common food contaminants and their complete eradication is difficult due to the formation of highly resistant spores. Both staining and antimicrobial effects have been demonstrated for Monascus pigments, but testing of the antimicrobial effect has been limited to vegetative cells. Inhibition of sporulation and suppression of spore germination will also be tested in this work. Advanced methods such as flow cytometry together with fluorescent cell labelling, RT-qPCR and transcriptomic analysis will be used.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Biotechnology, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Nanocomposites with high activity against pathogenic microorganisms

Granting Departments: Department of Biotechnology
Supervisor: prof. Ing. Jan Masák, CSc.

Annotation


Nanoparticles and other nanostructures often have high biological activity. In this case, the biological activity is the result of a set of characteristic properties of these structures, such as their shape and size and their chemical composition. Initially, the predominant study of the biological activities of nanoparticles of metals and their oxides is shifting towards composite nanoparticles consisting of, for example, various polymers and metals. The spatial arrangement of these composites is often crucial. The topic of this dissertation is to find suitable procedures, with emphasis on "green synthesis", for the preparation of nanocomposites based on natural polymers such as chitosan and lignin in combination with various metals. The aim will be to obtain nanostructures with high antimicrobial activity, which are particularly useful in medicine and related fields.
Contact supervisor Study place: Department of Biotechnology, FFBT, VŠCHT Praha

Phycocyanin production in autotrophic, heterotrophic and mixotrophic modes of microalgae cultivation

Granting Departments: Department of Biotechnology
Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS, v.v.i.
Supervisor: Ing. Irena Brányiková, Ph.D.

Annotation


Phycocyanin (PC) is a blue-coloured protein pigment associated with the accessory light-harvesting complex in microalgae. It is a water-soluble, multimeric compound having fluorescent tetrapyrrole chromophores. Recently, PC has been reported to have various therapeutic properties such as antioxidant, antidiabetic, antiaging, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, anticancerous, immunoregulating, and antiinflammatory. Althought PC is already used in food technology and cosmetics, its potential is not yet fully exploited especially due to rapid degradation at acidic pH and relatively high price. The aim of this work will be to cultivate the cyanobacteria Limnospira sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and red alga Galdieria sulphuraria (i), to determine the productivity of biomass and PC under different conditions in the autotrophic, heterotrophic and mixotrophic regime (ii), to optimize the production conditions on a laboratory scale (e.g. temperature, pH, source of nitrogen, carbon and energy) (iii), assess the chemical and thermal stability of PC (iv) and evaluate methods of PC extraction from the biomass including production costs estimation.
Contact supervisor Study place: Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS, v.v.i.
Updated: 25.3.2022 16:21, Author: Jan Kříž

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