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Evaluation of potential therapeutics in a mouse model of KCNT1-related epilepsy


   Faculty of Biological Sciences


About the Project

Human mutations in the KCNT1 gene, which encodes a sodium-activated potassium channel, results in severe and drug-resistant childhood epilepsy. We have identified novel modulators of the potassium channel, which could be developed into therapeutics, and have a genetically-engineered mouse model of the disorder. The aim of this project is to characterise the mouse model, which contains an a genetic variant equivalent to a human patient. Potential modulators will be identified using cellular assays and then evaluated for therapeutic action using the mouse model. The project would suit a candidate with experience in the ethical use of animal models of human disease, neuroscience, and/or pharmacology.

Eligibility: 

You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject. This project would suit someone with a strong background in neuroscience or neuropharmacolgy. Additional experience of conducting research in a multidisciplinary setting or with rodent models is highly desirable. Upon completion of the PhD, the successful candidate will be uniquely equipped for high-demand careers within academia or industry with desirable skills in neuroscience, animal behaviour, and pharmacology.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).
  • Evidence of funding

To help us identify that you are applying for this project please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert

Funding Notes

Project suitable for a candidate, including those from overseas, with their own government-funded scholarship. Research costs are payable in addition to tuition fees.

References

Cole et al (2020) Structure-Based Identification and Characterization of Inhibitors of the Epilepsy-Associated KNa1.1 (KCNT1) Potassium Channel. iScience 23, 101100
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101100

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