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How cells respond to stress: The role of chaperone post-translational modifications in health and disease

Project Description

The Hsp70 chaperones are key cellular molecular machines that protect organisms from the toxic consequences of environmental and pathological stresses. They perform a wide array of cellular functions: ensure that newly synthesised proteins are properly folded into their native structure, prevent protein misfolding and aggregation, assist translocation of organellar and secretory proteins, and control the activity of regulatory proteins. Growing evidence suggests that different Hsp70 functions can be precisely fine-tuned post-translationally to physiological requirements and specific cellular demands. However, much remains to be learned about molecular mechanisms of how exactly post-translational modifications control different Hsp70 functions.The main goal of this project is to characterise how stress and disease specific post-translational modifications affect Hsp70 structure, conformational flexibility, chaperone functional cycle and functions. To address this challenging biomedical problem, we are using a multidisciplinary approach that combines molecular biology (prokaryotic and eukaryotic protein production), the state-of-the-art structural techniques (nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray crystallography), and computational methods (molecular dynamic simulations, coevolution analysis and modelling) .

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious PhD student with a strong interest in structural, computational and cellular biology. The successful candidate will be based at the Astbury Centre of Structural Molecular Biology and have access to our world-leading NMR facilities (including 950 MHz).

Funding Notes

2019 MCB PhD studentship
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2019:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference allowance
• Research Costs

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.

View Website


DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aao2464

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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