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Ligand-induced selective signalling of peptide GPCRs and their potential role in the regulation of mRNA methylation

Project Description

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) modulate the majority of physiological and pathological processes and constitute the largest family of cell surface receptors and drug targets. The human GnRH receptor has been proposed to couple to Gq, Gs and Gi families of G proteins to mediate different cellular functions such as regulation of the reproductive function and direct inhibition of cancer cell growth, but the mechanisms remains unclear. This project will investigate if GnRH receptor can directly interact with different G proteins using the state-of-art nanoBRET technologies, will identify G protein coupling-selective ligands and examine how activation of different G proteins can differentially modulate m6A methylation which affect cellular functions such as cell growth and tumourigenesis. Successful completion of this project will address for the first time the potential roles of GPCRs and G proteins in the modulation of m6A methylation and therefore cellular functional changes.

For more details about Professor Lu’s research, please see the link below.

For more information about doctoral scholarship and PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU): Please visit


The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, or a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in Biomedical Sciences, Bioinformatics, Computer Science,Chemistry or a closely-related discipline. Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, or an equivalent qualification, if the first language is not English. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality.

How to Apply

Interested applicants are advised to email (principle supervisor’s email address) the following documents (please put the project title in the subject line).
•Two reference letters
•Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
•Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of above 6.5 or equivalent is required
•Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
•Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)


The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program.

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) by XJTLU and provides a monthly stipend of 5000 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching assistance work per year. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool of up to three months, if this is required by the project.

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