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Advancing our understanding of fundamental cellular processes by investigating membrane contact sites.

Department of Biology

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Dr P Pryor , Dr C G Baumann No more applications being accepted Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

An emerging, exciting area of research is that of membrane contact site (MCS) biology. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) forms an extensive and dynamic network of MCSs with a diverse range of functionally distinct organelles and these contact sites have been implicated in regulating physiological processes including lipid transfer, calcium exchange, receptor tyrosine kinase signalling, lipid droplet formation, autophagosome formation, organelle dynamics and neurite outgrowth. MCSs between the ER and endocytic pathway are particularly abundant, suggesting important physiological roles. However, the molecular composition of MCSs are poorly defined. We have identified a family of proteins that bind MCS proteins and as such may regulate MCSs. The PhD will therefore examine the role of these membrane proteins in regulating MCSs and in regulating cellular homeostasis.
This project will provide specialised training in cutting-edge cell biology, proteomics and live cell fluorescence imaging techniques. Transferable skills training will be provided by the White Rose DTP. The student will also improve these skills by attending supervisors’ lab meetings, departmental seminars and research conferences, and participating in outreach activities. The student will join a vibrant cross-disciplinary PhD community.
This project is suitable for an applicant with a strong background in the biological sciences or biochemistry, and a keen interest in understanding biological processes at the molecular and cellular levels.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project. Applicants need to have adequate funds to meet the costs of a self-funded research project including tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research programme. Please see information on tuition fee costs, living expenses and funding opportunities.


Applications are welcome for a 3-year PhD.

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