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Macromolecular transport at the blood-brain-barrier

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

UCL Chemistry Department is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in October 2020. The project will be in collaboration with AstraZeneca. The student will carry out his/her doctoral research at UCL within the molecular bionics labs ( and also have the opportunity for work placements at AstraZeneca in Cambridge, UK, in the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Safety Sciences.

The aim of the project is to define molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of macromolecule transport at the blood-brain-barrier, one of most important metabolic barriers in the human body. It therefore tightly controls endocytosis and transcytosis of specific cargos by the expression of specialised transporters and receptors. Whilst several transcytosis pathways and receptors have been identified at the blood-brain-barrier, there are still unknowns about what governs and controls these pathways regarding entry, intracellular travel and eventually exit of macromolecules. To address these questions unique nanoprobes will be developed within the project, engineered to be highly specific for particular pathways, and applied to different in vitro blood-brain-barrier models including novel organotypic 3D and stem cell derived systems. This is a unique opportunity to participate in truly interdisciplinary research covers molecular engineering, physical biology, synthetic biology, and nanomedicine.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in bioengineering, biological physics, chemical biology, cell biology and/or biomedical science.

Interested candidates should initially contact supervisor with a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac ().

Applications will be accepted until the 31st of May 2020, but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding Notes

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

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