Pursuing a research degree at the School of Chemistry could be one of the best experiences of your life.
In addition to gaining research skills, making friends, meeting eminent researchers and being part of the research community, a research degree will help you to develop invaluable transferable skills which you can apply to academic life or a variety of professions outside of academia.
The Chemistry/Biology Interface
This is a broad area, with particular strengths in the areas of protein structure and function, mechanistic enzymology, proteomics, peptide and protein synthesis, protein folding, recombinant and synthetic DNA methodology, biologically targeted synthesis and the application of high throughput and combinatorial approaches. We also focus on biophysical chemistry, the development and application of physicochemical techniques to biological systems. This includes mass spectrometry, advanced spectroscopy and microscopy, as applied to proteins, enzymes, DNA, membranes and biosensors.
Experimental & Theoretical Chemical Physics
This is the fundamental study of molecular properties and processes. Areas of expertise include probing molecular structure in the gas phase, clusters and nanoparticles, the development and application of physicochemical techniques such as mass spectoscropy to molecular systems and the EaStCHEM surface science group, who study complex molecules on surfaces, probing the structure property-relationships employed in heterogeneous catalysis. A major feature is in Silico Scotland, a world-class research computing facility.
This research area encompasses the synthesis and characterisation of organic and inorganic compounds, including those with application in homogeneous catalysis, nanotechnology, coordination chemistry, ligand design and supramolecular chemistry, asymmetric catalysis, heterocyclic chemistry and the development of synthetic methods and strategies leading to the synthesis of biologically important molecules (including drug discovery). The development of innovative synthetic and characterisation methodologies (particularly in structural chemistry) is a key feature, and we specialise in structural chemistry at extremely high pressures.
The EaStCHEM Materials group is one of the largest in the UK. Areas of strength include the design, synthesis and characterisation of functional (for example magnetic, superconducting and electronic) materials; strongly correlated electronic materials, battery and fuel cell materials and devices, porous solids, fundamental and applied electrochemistry polymer microarray technologies and technique development for materials and nanomaterials analysis.
Students attend regular research talks, visiting speaker symposia, an annual residential meeting in the Scottish Highlands, and lecture courses on specialised techniques and safety. Students are encouraged to participate in transferable skills and computing courses, public awareness of science activities, undergraduate teaching and to represent the School at national and international conferences.
Our facilities are among the best in the world, offering an outstanding range of capabilities. You’ll be working in recently refurbished laboratories that meet the highest possible standards, packed with state-of-the-art equipment for both analysis and synthesis.
For NMR in the solution and solid state, we have 10 spectrometers at field strengths from 200-800 MHz; mass spectrometry utilises EI, ESI, APCI, MALDI and FAB instrumentation, including LC and GC interfaces. New combinatorial chemistry laboratories, equipped with a modern fermentation unit, are available. We have excellent facilities for the synthesis and characterisation of bio-molecules, including advanced mass spectrometry and NMR stopped-flow spectrometers, EPR, HPLC, FPLC, AA.
World-class facilities are available for small molecule and macromolecular X-ray diffraction, utilising both single crystal and powder methods. Application of diffraction methods at high pressures is a particular strength, and we enjoy strong links to central facilities for neutron, muon and synchrotron science in the UK and further afield. We are one of the world's leading centres for gas-phase electron diffraction.
Also available are instruments for magnetic and electronic characterisation of materials (SQUID), electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), force-probe microscopy, high-resolution FTRaman and FT-IR, XPS and thermal analysis. We have also recently installed a new 1,000- tonne pressure chamber, to be used for the synthesis of materials at high pressures and temperatures. Fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy instruments are available within the COSMIC Centre. Dedicated computational infrastructure is available, and we benefit from close links with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.
Application period/deadline: November 1, 2017 - January 24, 2018
• In-depth training in understanding structure-function relationships of proteins and their characterisation
• Strong focus on practical skills and use of most modern equipment in protein expression and analysis
• Highly flexible degree aimed at students with an interest in a research career, taught by an international staff
The International Master’s Degree Programme in Protein Science and Biotechnology is a two-year programme planned around the early integration of M.Sc. students into research groups and the hands-on use of modern biochemical and molecular biology equipment by individual students. Early exposure to research work provides insights into cutting edge approaches in structural and enzymology characterisation as well as cell and molecular biology methods. A completion of a minimum of 120 study units equivalent to ECTS credits is required to complete the master’s degree studies. The flexible programme includes courses in:
• Protein production and analysis (compulsory)
• Biochemical methodologies (compulsory)
• 3-6 week orientation to research work periods in research groups (compulsory)
• Basic aspects of crystallographic methods
• Structural enzymology
• Biochemistry of protein folding
• Systems biology
• Bioinformatics and biocomputing
• Structure-based drug discovery
Additional optional studies include (but are not limited to):
• Advanced biotechnology/bioprocess engineering
• Animal use in research
• Yeast genetics and genomics
• Information skills for foreign degree students
• Bioreactor technology
• Molecular bases of disease
In addition, up to 15 credits can be taken from other suitable courses taught at the Oulu University or any other university, as long as they are of the appropriate level and connected to biochemistry or logically support some aspect of the Protein Science and Biotechnology programme.
Due to the range of courses available in the programme, a wide variety of expertise that can be obtained during M.Sc. level studies at FBMM. The official diploma title received after successful completion of our international M.Sc. programme will be M.Sc. in Protein Science and Biotechnology. Depending on the course choices, the training received may also provide you with excellent proficiency in molecular and cellular biology.
The duration of the M.Sc. thesis research work is flexible depending on the interest of the students and may be three months (more courses/lectures taken) or eight months (longer M.Sc. thesis research period).
Significant number of students spend orientation to research work periods outside the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine or carry out the research work for their MSc thesis abroad
The Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine offers a highly international environment of cutting edge research in Protein Structure analysis, Enzymology, Proteomics, Bioimaging, Developmental Biology, Matrix Biology and Metabolism research. About fifty percent of our staff are native to other countries than Finland, and research groups are well connected globally to other specialists and research groups in their fields of study. Many students holding an M.Sc. from our faculty have gone on to Ph.D. programmes of other prestigious institutions all over the world, and many have stayed at FBMM Oulu to continue in our Ph.D. programme.
The skills gained in the programme offer you the academic training and expertise required to succeed in a research environment, but will also open opportunities in biomedical and related industries.
Successful applicants should hold a B.Sc. or higher degree in Biochemistry, Chemistry or a related field in the natural or life sciences and have a good command of technical English language in biochemistry and molecular biology.