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FindAPhD Featured PhD Programmes
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Development of novel photochemical probes to investigate quadruplex DNA interactome in livings cells

Institute of Chemical Biology

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Prof R Vilar , Prof E Tate , Dr M Di Antonio Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
London United Kingdom Bioinformatics Cell Biology Molecular Biology Structural Biology

About the Project


Professor Ramon Vilar Compte

Professor Ed Tate

Dr Marco Di Antonio 


Genomic DNA is mainly folded into a double-stranded structure. However, guanine-rich regions can fold into alternative DNA structures called G-quadruplexes (G4), which have been recently visualized in human cells. G4s have been associated with genomic instability, regulation of gene expression and replication, and they are potential drug targets in a range of diseases. While the past decade has seen significant advances in the characterisation of G4 DNA structures, there remains a significant lack of understanding of the proteins responsible for G4-recongition in cells, which is key to further elucidate G4s’ biological significance. This project aims to bridge this gap by developing photoactivatable probes that can label proteins bound to G4s in living cells. We recently demonstrated that Pt(II) complexes known to bind to G4s can also efficiently generate short-lived reactive oxygen species (ROS) under light irradiation. We propose to use the generated ROS to efficiently label proteins bound to G4s, which will be subsequently analysed by quantitative proteomics methods. 

Upcoming interview dates for applicants:

  • Friday 5th February 2021
  • Friday 5th March 2021
  • Friday 26th March 2021

Applicants need to apply through the Imperial College Gateway, via

Funding Notes

The awarding body for the ICB CDT studentships is the EPSRC. Students must therefore conform to the eligibility requirements laid down by the EPSRC. Applications will be accepted from both ‘Home’ and ‘International’ fee status students, although only a limited number of ‘International’ fee status students are eligible for this scholarship. All students must have a good honours degree (2.1 or above) in a physical sciences subject at MSci level (or equivalent).

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