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4 Year PhD programme - Prion Unit

Medical Research Council (MRC) Prion Unit at UCL

Applications are invited for two places on this PhD programme.

The MRC Prion Unit at UCL, Institute of Prion Diseases is one of the world’s leading research centres for the study of prion and related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Prion diseases are increasingly seen as the key paradigm for neurodegenerative diseases which involve accumulation of misfolded proteins and are associated with “prion-like” seeding mechanisms.

The Institute for Prion Diseases was established in June 2017 and occupies a new purpose built building in the heart of Fitzrovia very close to UCL main campus and adjacent to the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour. The Francis Crick Institute and the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology are 10 minutes’ walk away. The Institute of Prion Diseases is fully equipped with the latest cutting edge technologies including mass spectrometry, next generation sequencing, cryoelectron, atomic force, confocal and super resolution microscopy, and IncuCyte Live-Cell imaging.

Unit programmes are highly multidisciplinary and have an uncompromising commitment to excellence. They offer students a wide experience in the field of prions and neurodegeneration, including genetics, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology, disease modelling, diagnostics, therapeutics and clinical research.

During the first year, students undertake three rotation projects within the laboratories of three Senior Unit Staff. They also take one MSc module in Neuroscience or a related subject, and receive training in Statistics, Bioinformatics and Programming.

Towards the end of their first year, students select a supervisor with whom to undertake a “conventional” three year PhD in years 2-4 of their studies. The rotations will broaden the students understanding of prion biology as well as other neurodegenerative diseases and most importantly enable them to make an informed choice of project and mentor.

We are seeking highly-motivated enthusiastic students who aspire to pursue an academic career.

The Prion Unit will hold a ‘Virtual Open Day’ on 19th November 2020 (12-2pm) to provide an opportunity to hear about the cutting edge research being undertaken within Unit, discuss research opportunities with Senior Scientific Staff and talk with current PhD students. All are welcome but please contact Parmjit Jat (email below) to be provided with details on how to join the meeting.

For further details about the programme, entrance requirements and how to apply, please click here or contact Parmjit Jat (

To apply please send a covering letter and cv to by 6th December 2020.

4 Year PhD programme - Prion Unit

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