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Developing the hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry technology to interrogate membrane protein dynamics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, April 05, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is collaborative project between King’s Chemistry (Politis Lab) and OMass Therapeutics (Oxford). The primary aim of the project is to explore how lipids impact on the structure, dynamics and function of human integral membrane protein assemblies. Lipids play crucial roles in maintaining the conditions necessary for life. They constitute a form of energy storage as well as providing us with the essential nutrients to function. Lipids are also the key determinants of their interactions with other cellular structures. However, the importance of lipids in shaping the structure and dynamics of such structures has been under-represented in chemical biology. The project will develop the rapidly advancing hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) technology and high-resolution native MS to study the dynamic interactions between membrane proteins and lipids. A key aim is to enable the HDX-MS technology for interrogating the dynamics of particularly challenging systems such as the mammalian transporters and G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), important for human health. Overall, we anticipate that by understanding how lipids communicate with their molecular partners, will provide new insight into their role in the cell and enable a much-needed new method that can assist rational drug design and development.

Student profile

Prospective candidates should have a 1st or 2:1 M-level qualification in Chemistry, or a related programme, in which all aspects of basic chemical knowledge have been covered. Preference will be given to those with a good knowledge on analytical techniques and/or structural and molecular biology methods including mass spectrometry, biochemistry and protein expression and purification.


Students interested in undertaking a PhD in this project should register their interest as soon as possible. Informal enquiries can be made to

To apply, please visit the King’s College myApplication system:
1. Register a new account/login
2. Once logged in, select Create a new application
3. Enter ‘Chemistry Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time/Part-time)’ under Choose a programme. Please ensure you select the correct mode of study.

All relevant information regarding eligibility, including academic and English language requirements, is available from the online prospectus -

Deadline for applications is 08/03/2019. We might accept later applications until the position is filled.

Please ensure that you quote the project title Developing the hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry technology to interrogate membrane protein dynamics and supervisor Politis in the relevant sections of the application form.

If you require support with the application process, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor for Chemistry, Dr Gerd Wagner, at:

Funding Notes

The Studentship is funded for 4 years on a starting bursary at the standard research council rate, which is presently £17,009 per annum including London Allowance, and cover the full cost of Home tuition fees. Income tax is not payable on the stipend.

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