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(MRC DTP) Design of allosteric small molecule inhibitors of fibrosis using advanced molecular simulation techniques

Project Description

Integrins are a family of protein receptors that play a major role in cell survival, growth and migration. Their function is to transmit signals across the cell membrane by undergoing an elegant large scale structural rearrangement. In disease, integrins such as V6, have been linked to a range of pathologies, including cancer metastasis and fibrosis. The aim of this project is to develop compounds which can modulate the allosteric mechanism of V6, to provide a deeper understanding of integrin action as well as a route to studying their effect on liver fibrosis. To achieve this, the project will apply advanced molecular simulation techniques to characterise the allosteric mechanism of V6 and guide the design of small molecule inhibitors. Predicted actives will be procured and experimentally tested for affinity and mode of action. The most promising compounds will be assessed for their anti-fibrotic effect on models of liver fibrosis. Thus, this interdisciplinary project combines computational, chemical, biophysical and biological aspects to offer an exciting research opportunity at the chemical biology interface.
Refs: Dong et al., Nature 2017, 542, 55; Dong et al., Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 2014, 29, 1091; Miao et al., Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2014, 16, 6398

Entry Requirements:
Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Funding Notes

This project is to be funded under the MRC Doctoral Training Partnership. If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the MRC DTP website View Website

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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