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Characterisation of the functional effectiveness of novel Kv7 channel activators in different smooth muscles

   Graduate School

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  Prof I Greenwood, Dr Jennifer Stott  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

London United Kingdom Cell Biology Genetics Molecular Biology Physiology

About the Project


Project details

Kv7 channels are voltage-gated potassium channels encoded by 5 KCNQ genes that have important physiological roles regulating action potential duration, neuronal membrane excitability and smooth muscle contractility. Their importance in neuronal physiology has resulted in the development of Kv7 activators as anti-epileptic agents and there is a growing awareness that similar agents can be beneficial in treating various smooth muscle disorders. We have an US-based Industrial partner who has funded a 3 year studentship to investigate the potential of Kv7 modulators as therapeutics in smooth muscle disorders. The studentship will assess the effectiveness of various Kv7 modulators to alter contractility of different types of smooth muscle including arterial, bladder and uterine and will define the underlying molecular architecture of the channels in the different muscle types.

1.     To define the effectiveness of different novel Kv7 channel modifiers on smooth muscle function in different tissues.

2.     Define the molecular architecture of Kv7 channels in different smooth muscles.

3.     Define how Kv7 channel clusters are constructed and regulated

Skills acquisition

Running isometric tension experiments, analysing and collating data. Competence with different smooth muscles.

Competence at molecular / cell biology techniques e.g. Protein-protein interactions, quantitative PCR, immunocytochemistry.

Familiarity with giving oral communications to different audiences and handling questions. Scientific writing.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (2:1) of a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard obtained after a course of study extending over not less than three years in a university (or educational institution of university rank), in a subject appropriate to that of the course to be followed.

Application process

Please go to for the application forms. All applications must be made on this form - CVs and covering letters will not be accepted.

Please send the completed application form to [Email Address Removed] by no later than 1700 on Wednesday 18th August 2021. An equal opportunities form should also be submitted as a separate document. You should ask your referees to complete the reference form and to submit them to the same email address by the same time, if possible.

Applications will undergo shortlisting and successful applicants will then be invited to interview during the week commencing 23rd August 2021. 

The successful candidate will be given a verbal offer and once it has been accepted, will be sent a formal offer letter and a registration pack with joining information.

Unsuccessful candidates will be contacted with their outcomes at the earliest opportunity and will be able to request feedback if required.

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will receive a stipend for a three-year period and will have their fees paid for them during this time.