In the middle of applying to universities? | SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE In the middle of applying to universities? | SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE

Life in the freezer – how do proteins function in the cold?

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof David Brockwell, Prof S E Radford, Prof Lorna Dougan  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Extremophilic organisms have the ability to survive at temperatures incompatible with human life. For unicellular organisms, this is driven by protein adaptation. Studying extremophilic proteins is important both for their applications (e.g. creating proteins better tuned for biotechnology and clinical use) but also can reveal fundamental understanding of the relationship between sequence, stability and function. While much is known about how proteins function at high temperature, little is known about adaptation to the cold.

In recent exciting work we showed that PB6 Csp B (a cold-shock protein isolated from an Antarctic bacterium) displays unexpected changes in its structure and dynamics when cooled to <20 ° C. This suggests a novel mechanism of adaptation to the cold. In this project you will use an array of biophysical methods to investigate how changes in temperature affect the structure, dynamics, binding affinity and catalytic rate of PB6 Csp B. Using directed evolution, you will identify the residues responsible for these effects, allowing the rational re-design for temperature dependence to the cold for the first time.


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.

How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs