Lysosomes are key cellular organelles that degrade and recycle macromolecules, act as signalling hubs and are implicated in many diseases including Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) where old age is a major risk factor. In this project, the plan is to characterise the lysosomal content in terms of proteins, lipids and metabolites in cells derived from peripheral blood from people with PD /AD and healthy controls. This expected outcome is to delineate disease specific signatures that can be exploited for biomarker development and novel treatment strategies.
Studying lysosomal biology and dysfunction in human diseases has been challenging because lysosomes represent less than 3% of the total cell volume, such that changes in lysosomal content are hardly detected using traditional whole tissue/cell measurements. To overcome this, we have further refined a recently developed approach for the rapid immunoaffinity purification (IP) of intact lysosomes using a recombinant tag on the external lysosomal transmembrane protein by a collaborator1 for use in the endogenous system (unpublished).
The successful applicant will be based in the Sammler lab (informal enquiries: [Email Address Removed]) at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee (http://www.ppu.mrc.ac.uk), have access to the world class research facilities and are provided with ample opportunities for training in diverse techniques ranging from DNA cloning, gene editing, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, advanced imaging and translational bench-to-bedside approaches (as with this project).
Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.
Applicants must have demonstrated academic excellence in their previous studies and, English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in each of the four components). The University of Dundee accepts a variety of equivalent qualifications; please see full details of the University’s English language requirements here: www.dundee.ac.uk/guides/english-language-requirements.
Beyond academic pursuits, the Life Sciences PhD Students' Association (PiCLS) offers a vibrant community with sports, social events, an annual retreat, pub nights, and cultural festivities, enriching the overall student experience.