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Exploring the roles of endosomal potassium ion channels in viral infection and cellular physiology

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr E W Hewitt, Dr J N Barr, Dr J D Lippiat  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The endocytic pathway plays a central role in cellular physiology, being responsible for the uptake of extracellular material and molecules into the cell. It is also the route used by many viruses to access the cell interior. Our recent work has established that potassium ions in the endosomal pathway are required for the infection of cells by a number of different viruses. However, the ion channels responsible for transporting potassium ions into endosomes and their roles in normal cellular function are largely unknown. In this project you will use organelle proteomics to identify the endosomal potassium ion channels and then examine their role in viral infection and in the trafficking of cellular proteins in the endocytic pathway. This will involve an array of techniques including cell and virus culture, subcellular fractionation, proteomics, immunofluorescence microscopy, live cell microscopy and viral infection assays.

The outcome of this project will not only be the identification of novel cellular co-factors for viral infection, but a new understanding of the cellular functions of ion channels.


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.

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).

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

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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