Supervisors: Prof. Edina Rosta (UCL), Dr. Marco Klaehn (IHPC, A*STAR, Singapore)
Application deadline: 15/04/2022
Interview date: 04/05/2022
Start date: 26 September 2022
Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)
Subject areas: Catalysis, Biomolecular simulations, Machine learning
This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore) Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent in the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) of A*STAR in Singapore. The studentship will cover tuition fees at the home rate, and an annual stipend of no less than £17,609 increasingly annually with inflation (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student a one-off relocation allowance.
RAS is the most frequently mutated protein in all human cancers, loses its natural catalytic activity, unable to hydrolyse GTP efficiently due to oncogenic mutations. To date, RAS is considered “undruggable” despite its association to multiple of cancers, including adeno-carcinomas and melanoma. We aim to study the catalytic reaction mechanism and to design small molecule ligands that interact with oncogenic RAS mutants and help to shut down aberrant signalling that leads to cancer. We will use computational methods, including state-of-the-art machine learning approaches to achieve our goal, which could revolutionise current cancer therapies, as oncogenic RAS mutations are present in about 30% of all tumours screened, and are frequently associated with cancer types that are resistant to current therapies.
The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second-class integrated masters degree (MSci, MChem, etc.) or 2:1 minimum BSc plus stand-alone Masters degree with at least a Merit in Physics, Chemistry or related subjects. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject as well as ability to think analytically and creatively. Experience with Linux or/and Python is highly desirable, but not necessary as training will be provided. Good presentation and writing skills in English are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is desirable.
Interested candidates should initially contact the supervisors (Edina Rosta, [Email Address Removed]) with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in the project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.
All shortlisted applicants will be invited for the interview no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline.
Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Zhimei Du [Email Address Removed].
Applications will be accepted until 15/04/2022.