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 Protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation in cancer and neurodegenerative disease

MRC Prize PhD Programme 2021/2022 Protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation in cancer and neurodegenerative disease

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

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.

Almost all aspects of biology are regulated by reversible protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation. Moreover, it is clear that there is an exquisite interplay between phosphorylation and ubiquitylation in many signalling pathways, emphasizing the importance of studying both kinds of modification in an integrated fashion, rather than considering these as separate areas to be investigated in isolation. Abnormalities in these pathways cause numerous diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and inflammation - all conditions that we focus on in our Unit. Deciphering how disruptions in phosphorylation and ubiquitin networks lead to disease will reveal novel drug targets and improved strategies to treat these maladies in the future. Scientists in the MRC PPU are studying how phosphorylation and ubiquitin networks control a variety of cellular processes including DNA repair, DNA replication, mitochondrial quality control, proteostasis, autophagy and the prevention of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinsons disease.

We are looking for bright and enthusiastic young people to join our 4-year PhD programme. Our aim is to train the research leaders of tomorrow, and we provide support and training at every stage of the PhD, in a world class research institute that benefits from core funding from the MRC. We offer the option of two 4-month rotations in the first year; students then choose one of the two labs to continue in for their PhD studies. Current projects can be found by clicking here. The stipend for our MRC studentships is £20,000 per annum tax-free, and our students can attend at least one international conference during the course of their PhD. You can see what some of our former PhD students are up to now by reading some of our “Alumni interviews”.

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.

Please send a CV with contact details of three referees to and a cover letter explaining why you have chosen to apply to MRC PPU to mrcppu-phd-admin@dundee.ac.uk. Applications from overseas students are welcome.