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Mitochondrial dynamics in human disease

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Prof A Sivaprasadarao, Dr S Ponnambalam  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Mitochondria are highly dynamic structures. They undergo continuous fusion and fission to maintain a healthy network by discarding dysfunctional mitochondria (Nature, 505, 335-343, 2014). Emerging evidence indicates that disruption of mitochondrial dynamics contributes to a wide range of age-related illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular and neuronal (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s) diseases and cancer. We have discovered a role for ion channels in mitochondrial dynamics and our aim is understand the underlying mechanisms using cell biological and molecular approaches. Transgenic approaches will be used to understand the relevance of the mechanisms to disease. Novel chemicals will be tested for their potential to prevent excessive mitochondrial fission, and hence certain diseases. Collaborations exist with clinicians and chemists to determine the relevance of regulators of mitochondrial dynamics to a wide range of diseases and to promote translational research.

Techniques to be used include: cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, in vivo techniques including gene knock-out models, drug screening using high-throughput machines

Funding Notes

For overseas students a bench fee of £8K to £10K will be needed.
The University of Leeds has a number of competitive studentships for exceptional applicants, and also offers a number of awards for both UK/EU and international (non EU) students that can be applied for. In addition, there is a 4-year Wellcome Trust PhD programme that UK/EU students are eligible. Closing dates vary throughout the year


for publications from Sivaprasadarao’s group see

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