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A Chemical Biology Approach to Evaluate the Reversible Oxidation of Methionine in the Regulation of Protein Function

   College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences

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  Prof N Bulleid, Prof R Hartley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Glasgow United Kingdom Cell Biology

About the Project


Prof Neil Bulleid

Prof Richard Hartley 

PhD Project Summary:

Oxidation of proteins leads to their inactivation and results in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Mammalian cells contain poorly characterised enzymes called methionine sulfoxide reductases that are able to reverse the oxidation of methionine and protect proteins from oxidative damage. As the overexpression of these enzymes increases cellular resistance to oxidative stress, it is highly likely to act as an antioxidant during normal physiology and during specific diseases and ageing. Most recently, we have shown that these enzymes can act as oxidases as well as reductases. This discovery opens up the possibility that the enzyme can reversibly modify substrates indicating a role in regulation of protein function.

This project will further our understanding of the role of methionine oxidation in cellular function. We will design novel chemical probes that can be used to monitor the extent of methionine oxidation in different cellular compartment with both spatial and temporal resolution. The project will require probe design and synthesis, live cell imaging and molecular cell biology techniques to determine the role of methionine sulfoxide reductases in cell physiology. The project is a collaboration between a cell biology and chemistry laboratory enabling the student to obtain training in the burgeoning field of chemical biology.

Funding Notes

The studentship provides funding for tuition fees, a stipend and laboratory expenses for Home (UK) applicants only.
The MVLS/EPSRC grant provides tuition fees and stipend of at least £15,285 (UKRI rate 2020/21).
Please view application information here:
Once you have all the required application documentation, please apply here:
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