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Mechanism of transmembrane receptor activation

  • Full or part time
    Dr Marko Hyvonen
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD position, starting in October 2019, in the group Dr Marko Hyvonen at University of Cambridge ( to study the mechanism of transmembrane signalling by TGFbeta family growth factors. The aim of the project is to elucidate the molecular level details of how binding of a soluble growth factor to the extracellular domain of a kinase receptor actives the receptor and induces the intracellualr signalling cascade. The candidate will use state-of-the art molecular biology, protein biochemistry, molecular and cellular biophysics and structural biology techniques in this project.

The candidate should have a first class degree in biochemistry or closely related subject and prior experience in molecular and cellular biology and in protein biochemistry. Experience in protein expression and purification, biophysical measurement of interactions, fluorescence microscopy and in protein crystallography or cryoEM would be highly advantageous.

Applications should be sent Dr Marko Hyvonen () as a single PDF file containing a CV of no longer than three pages (including details of final grade or expected grade) and a motivational statement of up to two pages. Applicants should include also contact details of at least two academic referees. There is no need to send transcripts of degree certificates.

Informal enquiries can be addressed by email to Dr Hyvonen ().

Funding Notes

Applicants are expected to apply either for BBSRC or MRC studentships that are awarded by University of Cambridge, or for the local studentships. These are highly competitive and only students with top grades have a chance of securing these. For BBSRC/MRC studentships the applicants should be eligible for full fees and maintenance scholarship.
I am happy to discuss applications to competitive studentship programmes elsewhere, but will not accept self-funded students.


T. Cotton, G. Fischer, X. Wang, J. McCoy, M. Czepnik, T. B. Thompson, M. Hyvӧnen. Structure of the human pro-myostatin precursor and determinants of growth factor latency, 2018, EMBO Journal, 37:367-383, 2018, doi: 10.15252/embj.201797883

X. Wang, G. Fischer and M. Hyvönen. Structure and activation of pro-activin A. Nature Communications, 7:12052. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12052, 2016

M. Kišonaitė, X. Wang and M. Hyvönen. Structure of Gremlin-1 and analysis of its interaction with BMP-2. Biochemical Journal, 473:1593-1604 doi:10.1042/BCJ20160254, 2016.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 189.63

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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