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Elucidating the Structure and Function of Mechanosensitive G-protein Coupled Receptors

Project Description

Membrane proteins (MPs) make up a significant part of the genome and are the target of ~30% of therapeutics and yet our structural and functional understanding often lags behind their soluble counterparts. GPCRs account for 50% of all MP targets and are expressed ubiquitously in humans. Exciting new developments in techniques such as Lipidic Cubic Phase (LCP) crystallography Mass spectrometry (MS) and Pulsed Electron Double Resonance (PELDOR, also known as DEER) spectroscopy have changed the way we can study membrane protein structure and function and provide new insights into our fundamental understanding and drive therapeutic design. This project will combine LCP and EPR spectroscopy to probe membrane protein structure/function using cutting edge techniques and making use of the recent ~£8M investment in these facilities. Work will focus on a eukaryotic G-protein coupled receptor, which is an essential flow sensor in arteriolar endothelium and is a critical signaling component in cardiovascular pathophysiology. By understanding its catalytic cycle we are aiming to provide new insights into small molecule drug development. The successful PhD student will be trained in complementary cutting edge techniques of interest to both academia and industry.

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2020:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference and research funding

At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.

EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency to receive full studentship

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

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Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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