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Investigation of the roles and regulation of SUMO in cell function and disease processes (Newcastle)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof B Morgan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Modification of proteins by the conserved ubiquitin-like protein, SUMO, regulates many fundamental processes in eukaryotes such as the cell division cycle and responses to environmental stress. Importantly, deregulation of SUMO modification is linked with premature ageing, common age-related diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disease, and to specific human viral and bacterial infections. Furthermore, sumoylation is important for virulence pathways of the major human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. However, despite these links with human health and the identification of many sumoylated substrates there is much to learn about how sumoylation influences human health. Thus, the aim of the project is to apply a wide range of techniques including state of the art robotics and molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics techniques to investigate the conserved functions and regulation of SUMO modification and how this influences processes important for human health and lifespan. Important insight into fundamental eukaryotic processes has come from the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and our extensive pilot data has already identified novel links between fundamental cell processes and sumoylation. Specific objectives will involve characterising these novel links in S. cerevisiae, in mammalian cells and in the human fungal pathogen C. albicans. These studies aim to inform understanding of the relationships between this important protein modification and human health.

For further information see the website:

To apply:
Please submit a full CV and covering letter directly to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship under the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham DTP. The successful applicant will receive research costs, tuition fees and stipend (£14,057 for 2015-16). The PhD will start in September 2016. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. EU candidates must have been resident in the UK for 3 years in order to receive full support. There are 2 stages to the application process.


Liang J-R, Martinez A, Mayor U, Lane J, Clague MJ# and Urbé S# (2015) USP30 deubiquitylates mitochondrial Parkin substrates and restricts apoptotic cell death. EMBO Reports 16, 618-627. #Co-corresponding authors

Brown JD, Day AM, Taylor SR, Tomalin LE, Morgan BA, Veal EA. (2013) A Peroxiredoxin Promotes H2O2 Signaling and Oxidative Stress Resistance by Oxidizing a Thioredoxin Family Protein. Cell Reports 5(5), 1425-1435.

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