We are seeking bright and enthusiastic young students to join a new PhD programme at the MRC-PPU dedicated to understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and incurable brain disorder. Approximately twenty genes are mutated in familial forms of Parkinson’s including signalling components such as kinases (LRRK2 and PINK1) and ubiquitin ligases (Parkin and FBX07). Recently MRC-PPU researchers have made significant advances in deciphering the substrates for LRRK2 and PINK1 and in determining how the activity of these kinases is controlled in health and disease. The Unit currently has 7 internationally recognised research groups (Alessi, Ganley, Muqit, Sammler, Kulathu, Rousseau & Virdee) who are investigating diverse mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease and other forms of neurodegenerative disease, including LRRK2 biology, PINK1 biology, the role of degradative pathways in Parkinson’s as well as translational patient-focused signalling projects.
Our 4-year PhD programme allows students to rotate for two 4.5-month projects in labs of their choice to aid in choosing a final lab or can alternatively join their preferred lab from the outset. Projects available are described here. Students will have access to the world class research facilities of the MRC-PPU with opportunities to train in diverse techniques including, mass spectrometry and advanced imaging. The MRC-PPU is also part of the Dundee-Edinburgh Parkinson’s Research Initiative that brings scientist together with clinicians.
The MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit is a world-famous centre for the study of cell signaling and how disruption to signaling pathways causes human disease. The University of Dundee is one of the leading universities in Europe for research in Life Sciences. The 2016 QS World University Rankings in Biological Sciences place Dundee 5th in the UK and 40th in the world as judged by ‘citations-per-paper’, one of the most widely recognized metrics of scientific excellence.
Current projects are listed here (MRC-PPU Parkinson’s PhD website). The stipend for MRC-Parkinson’s Prize studentships is £20,000 per annum tax-free and students can attend at least one international conference during their PhD. Additional studentships funded by other charities may also be available for Parkinson’s research.
Application deadline: December 1st 2019
Interviews: January 2020
Please send a CV with contact details of three referees to [email protected] including a cover letter explaining your interest in our work.