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Medical Research Council (MRC) Parkinson’s Disease and Neurodegeneration PhD Programme 2024

Medical Research Council (MRC) Parkinson’s Disease and Neurodegeneration PhD Programme 2024

MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU)
University of Dundee, Scotland
Stipend £20,000 per annum tax-free

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 8 internationally recognised research groups (Alessi, Ganley, Muqit, Sapkota, 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; PD researchers in MRC PPU are members of global PD networks including the ASAP network (Aligning Science Against Parkinsons) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. 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. You can see what some of our former PhD students are up to now by reading some of our “Alumni interviews”.

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.

To apply for a studentship, please send a CV with contact details of three referees, and a cover letter explaining why you have chosen to apply to MRC PPU, to Applications from overseas students are welcome. The closing date for applications is 10th November 2023.