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We have 19 Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Belfast

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Belfast  United Kingdom

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Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Belfast

We have 19 Molecular Biology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships in Belfast

Studying a PhD in Molecular Biology would provide you with the chance to guide your own research project. With a strong link to Cell Biology, Molecular Biology projects revolve around understanding the composition, structure, and interaction of molecules within the cell that control its function. These are generally laboratory-based projects.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Molecular Biology?

As a PhD student in Molecular Biology, you’ll develop extensive laboratory skills including DNA sequencing, expression cloning, gene knockout, and DNA or protein arrays. Your understanding of the range of techniques available to you will continually improve as you’ll read the latest publications in the field.

Some typical research topics in Molecular Biology include:

  • Understanding the role of a certain protein within a cell
  • Investigating DNA repair mechanisms and potential faults
  • Studying the difference in post-translational modifications in response to stimuli
  • Development of novel therapeutics
  • Investigating how proteins act differently in a disease
  • Studying DNA replication

A majority of Molecular Biology projects are proposed in advance by the supervisor and are advertised on the university website. Some of these projects are fully-funded by the university or a doctoral training programme, while others require you to self-fund.

Suggesting a project for yourself is uncommon in Molecular Biology, due to the challenge of finding funding to cover PhD and bench fees, as well as having to find a supervisor with suitable equipment and research interests to support your project.

Day-to-day, you’ll be in the laboratory preparing or conducting experiments, analysing previous data, creating figures, and writing up the results, alongside quick chats with your colleagues and supervisors about your work.

In the final year of your PhD, you’ll complete an original thesis of approximately 60,000 words in length and give an oral defence of this during a viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Molecular Biology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology, with at least a Merit or Distinction. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Molecular Biology funding options

The research council responsible for funding Molecular Biology PhDs in the UK is the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). They provide fully-funded studentships including a stipend for living costs, a consumables budget for bench fees and a tuition fee waiver. Students don’t apply directly to the BBSRC, you apply for advertised projects with this funding attached.

It’s uncommon for Molecular Biology PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

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Investigating the clinical and molecular significance of the microbiome in breast cancer

Breast Cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of new cancer cases. There is a significant unmet clinical need to understand why some cancers do not respond to treatment and what drives metastasis. Read more

Assessing the molecular mechanisms by which Cathepsin V promotes breast cancer growth and metastasis

Targeted therapies such as tamoxifen, fulvestrant and anastrozole have exhibited significant clinical success since being introduced as treatments for Estrogen Receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer patients. Read more

Structure-based design of allosteric modulators for G protein-coupled receptors using molecular modelling and pharmacology experiments

Almost all physiological processes are regulated through the activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). It has become widely accepted that most GPCRs possess binding sites spatially distinct from their natural ligand binding site (orthosteric site), termed as allosteric sites. Read more

Combining protein modelling and synthetic biology to alter and expand of host range of phages

Phage therapy relies on the use of bacterial viruses for treatment of infectious diseases. Bacteriophages are natural predators of bacteria, but their specificity varies significantly depending on the host species. Read more

Investigating the role of USP17 in EMT

USP17 is over-expressed in a range of primary tumours (NSCLC, breast, colorectal, cervical, ovarian, osteosarcoma) and its depletion blocks the growth, and migration, of cells from all of these cancer types. Read more

Countering the proteinase-activated receptor 1 (PAR-1) pro-tumour phenotype using a novel nanotherapeutic approach

Proteinase-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) is a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) expressed on a number of cell types, and is activated by serine proteases such as thrombin, plasmin and activated protein C. Read more

Peptide-based nanoparticles for brain targeted gene delivery

Gene therapy has the potential to provide therapeutic benefit to millions of people with neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Delivery into the brain is hampered by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which limits the efficacy of both conventional and novel therapies at the target site. Read more
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Innovative feed additive supplements for modulating the rumen microbiome and udder health of dairy cows

A partnership between QUB and AHV International, this project aims to improve our understanding of the mechanism of action of proprietary phytogenics (botanicals) and their role in ruminal fermentation and udder health in dairy stock. Read more

Self-Navigating Nanocarriers for Intracellular Protein Delivery

Protein-based therapeutics have shown remarkable success in modulating extracellular targets; however, effective intracellular delivery remains a key challenge in biotherapeutics. Read more

Enzyme-responsive peptide hydrogel as in situ forming long-acting drug delivery implants

One of the key issues in the treatment and prevention of disease is that patients struggle to adhere to the complex dosage regimens of therapies, which often require multiple dosing at very specific times each day. Read more

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