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Mapping cellular interactions of cardiovascular ion channels by chemical proteomics

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr Robin Bon, Prof A J Wilson  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The 28 mammalian TRP proteins form tetrameric ion channels involved in cellular signalling and responses to environmental factors including temperature, dietary chemicals and toxic metal ions. Well-known TRP channels include the heat/capsaicin receptor TRPV1 and the cold/menthol receptor TRPM8 (Nobel Prize Physiology&Medicine 2021). The related proteins TRPC1, TRPC4 and TRPC5 are remarkable because of their tendency to combine to form various heteromeric channels, several of which are considered potential drug targets for treatment of anxiety disorders, kidney disease, obesity and heart failure. However, understanding of the different properties of various TRPC1/4/5 tetramers is limited. We hypothesise that such differences are a result of unique protein-protein interactions mediated by the intracellular C-termini of TRPC proteins.

In this interdisciplinary project, the student will use state-of-the-art molecular and chemical biology methods to analyse and compare the protein micoenvironments of different TRPC1/4/5 channels. The student will join a vibrant team of researchers with experience in chemical biology, structural/molecular biology, ion channel research and protein-protein interaction analysis. Training will be provided in molecular biology (to develop new ion channel constructs and purify binding proteins), functional ion channel assays (intracellular calcium recording), cellular protein labelling, and mass spectrometry-based chemical proteomics (to map TRPC1/4/5 microenvironments).


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.

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