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Mechanisms of cell membranes repair in health and disease

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Compartmentalisation of chemical reactions and packaging of genetic material is fundamental for the healthy state of any biological cell. The confinements provided by cytoplasmic and nuclear membranes allow their contents to carry out specific tasks without the interference from other processes. For instance, deformation and rupturing of the nuclear envelope are hallmarks of carcinogenesis.

A specific protein complex (ESCRT) sculpts nuclear phospholipid bilayer to ensure appropriate resealing of the nuclear envelope after cell division. Sealing of a double phospholipid bilayer is also a major unresolved question in membrane biophysics since no in vitro models have been yet generated.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed students to study (a) how the ESCRT proteins sculpt double phospholipid bilayers, in vitro, using solid-supported bilayers and phospholipid vesicles and, (b) ESCRT-specific roles in repair of nuclear envelope ruptures in cancer cells. You will learn to use molecular biology and biochemistry techniques to study protein-protein interactions at the molecular scale together with dual colour fluorescence microscopy imaging on live and fixed cancer cells.

Your findings will have a major impact on our understanding of the wider role of cellular membranes integrity in health and disease. The knowledge generated will not only lead to novel approaches to treat cancer but also enhance our ability to exploit natural systems to create synthetic nanoreactors

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project. The applicant should have or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject.

If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work with this supervisor will be considered.

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