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Communication within the membrane during complement activation


Institute of Chemical Biology

London United Kingdom Biochemistry Biophysics Cell Biology Immunology Physiology

About the Project

Supervisors: Dr Doryen Bubeck and Dr Nick Brooks

Programme: 4 years’ fully-funded [1+3] MRes + PhD in Chemical Biology and Bio-Entrepreneurship, commencing October 2021

Abstract: The membrane attack complex (MAC) is one of the immune system’s first responders. Complement proteins assemble on target microbial or self-cell membranes to form pores that lyse pathogens and affect tissue homeostasis. While MAC assembly is known to cause changes in some key membrane mechanical properties, there remain significant questions about the protein - membrane interplay and interactions that bring about these changes and the impact that membrane – protein co-structuring has on a wealth of other physiologically critical biophysical membrane parameters. Understanding these biophysical mechanisms is critical to developing new strategies to intervene in complement immune deficiencies that have devastating consequences for human health. Here, we will use newly developed approaches to investigate the effect of MAC assembly on key biophysical parameters of biological and biomimetic membranes, and the feedback of these changes on the subsequent MAC assembly steps and eventual membrane rupture.

Applicants need to apply through the Imperial College Gateway, via https://www.imperial.ac.uk/chemical-biology/cdt/studentships/how-to-apply/


Funding Notes

This project is co-funded by the European Research Council and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Chemical Biology: Innovation for the Life Sciences

References


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