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  Breaking the Chaperone Code: How do post-translational modifications regulate Hsp70 stress response?

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr Anastasia Zhuravleva, Prof R.W. Bayliss, Prof F. Sobott  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Protein misfolding and aggregation have been linked to many devastating diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes. On the other hand, viral and bacterial virulence and cancer progression are driven by the folding of menacing proteins. Hsp70 molecular chaperones, the central hubs of the protein quality control system, facilitate folding of newly synthesized polypeptides as well as refolding or degrading damaged proteins. They are amongst the most promising pharmacological targets for treatments of diseases associated with an imbalance in protein folding. Hsp70 functions and localization inside the cell are controlled translationally (via changes in Hsp70 expression levels triggered by stress) and posttranslationally (via multiple posttranslational modifications of Hsp70). To understand in molecular detail how the chaperone code (a combination of post-translational modifications) controls and fine-tunes Hsp70 chaperone activity is a key aim of this project. To achieve this aim, we will exploit cutting-edge advantages in structural biology and cellular biology to tackle crucial unresolved questions, essential for our fundamental understanding of molecular chaperones and the future development of pharmacological tools.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious PhD student with a strong interest in structural, computational and cellular biology. The successful candidate will be based at the Astbury Centre of Structural Molecular Biology and have access to our world-leading structural biology, cellular biology and computational facilities.


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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