Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

Staff Profile

Professor Christopher Dennison

Professor of Biological Chemistry


BBSRC and MRC PhD Studentships available

Investigating the role of a cytosolic copper storage protein in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the link to pathogenicity

Closing Dates for Applications: 5 January (BBSRC) and 6 January (MRC) 2017.

Project Description: Copper homeostasis in a bacterial pathogen is linked to infection mechanisms. Copper is used by the host to fight bacteria and the pathogen is able to resist this chemical attack. Pseudomonas aeruginosa requires copper for essential enzymes that are involved in infection, for example during adaptation within the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis. Interestingly, P. aeruginosa possesses an unstudied member of a new family of bacterial copper storage proteins (the Csps) that we have recently discovered (Nature 2015, 525, 140-143). Many Csps, including the P. aeruginosa protein are cytosolic, an unexpected finding considering that bacteria are not though to use copper in this compartment due to its toxicity. Understanding the role of a Csp in copper homeostasis in P. aeruginosa, and its influence on pathogenesis, will be addressed in this multidisciplinary project using an array of biochemical, biophysical, microbiological, genomic, molecular biology, cell biology and metalloproteomic techniques.

References: Dennison et al., Nature 2015, 525, 140-143; Winstanley et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2016, 113, 8266-8271; Waldron, et al., Nature 2008, 455, 1138-1142.

To apply for the BBSRC studentship please send CV and covering letter to Prof. Chris Dennison (who can also be contacted for further information):

See also:

To apply for the MRC studentship - please see:


Research Interests

The main area of research is Bioinorganic Chemistry with particular emphasis on metalloproteins. The current focus is copper-containing proteins and we use a multi-disciplinary approach to study the relationship between their structure and function.