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Establishing induced degradation approaches to support PROTAC based drug discovery

   School of Life Sciences

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  Prof Helfrid Hochegger  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The major aim of this project is to assist in the validation of induced protein degradation as a viable strategy to develop novel anti-cancer therapies. Induced degradation of specific targets using small molecules called PROTACs has recently gained considerable attention in the drug discovery field. However, developing these molecules poses considerable challenges to medicinal chemists. Moreover, it is often unclear if induced degradation is advantageous compared to conventional inhibition mechanisms. We aim to address these challenges by establishing a genetic approach to induced degradation. This involves the introduction of degron-tags into endogenous genomic loci for proteins of interest using CRIPSR mediated gene targeting. A variety of different tags are available for this purpose and also several different CRISPR techniques to ensure optimal targeting efficacy. In this project we aim to optimise a workflow for this technique that can be applied in an efficient target validation workflow for drug discovery on a variety of targets and cellular model systems. The student working on this project will be integrated in a vibrant interdisciplinary research environment at the crossing of chemical genetics, cancer cell biology and drug discovery and will be co-supervised by Prof. Hochegger an expert in cell biology and Prof. John Spencer the Director of the Sussex Drug Discovery centre. We are looking for ambitious and enthusiastic applicants with a background in genetics and cell biology and an interest in cancer biology and drug discovery.

How to apply:

Please submit a formal application using the online admissions portal attaching a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, personal statement and two academic references. 

On the application system select Programme of Study – PhD Genome Stability. Please ensure you state the project title under funding and include the proposed supervisor’s name where required.

For enquiries about the application process, contact Emma Chorley: [Email Address Removed]

For enquiries about the project, contact supervisor: [Email Address Removed],

For further information, please see: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/lifesci/hocheggerlab/ , https://helfrid.github.io

Funding Notes

This School-funded position covers Home tuition fees and a stipend at standard UKRI rates for 3.5 years. Applicants with overseas fee status will need to fund the difference between Home and International tuition fees (approx. £18k per year).
Ideal candidates will have a strong background in cell signalling. Eligible applicants will hold a 2:1 BSc in a relevant subject. Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section.

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