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Natural toxins and their synthetic analogues as tools to study ion channels and as potential drugs and pesticides

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

Project Description

The project will use a combination of electrophysiological techniques such as voltage-clamp and patch-clamp with molecular biology and protein expression to understand how natural toxins and their synthetic analogues act on ion channels in the nervous system. This project will study the modes and sites of action of the toxins and assess their suitability for development as novel therapeutic agents or pesticides. Sources of active compounds that we are presently exploring include centipede venom and ladybird defensive secretions, but we can consider other novel sources. The project could also be directed towards the study of existing drugs and pesticides in order to better understand their modes and sites of action or to investigate problems in their use such as insecticide resistance. These studies also reveal much about the structure and function of ion channels.

The University of Nottingham is one of the world’s most respected research-intensive universities, ranked 8th in the UK for research power (REF 2014). Students studying in the School of Life Sciences will have the opportunity to thrive in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment, with expert supervision from leaders in their field, state-of-the-art facilities and strong links with industry. Students are closely monitored in terms of their personal and professional progression throughout their study period and are assigned academic mentors in addition to their supervisory team. The School provides structured training as a fundamental part of postgraduate personal development and our training programme enables students to develop skills across the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). During their studies, students will also have the opportunity to attend and present at conferences around the world. The School puts strong emphasis on the promotion of postgraduate research with a 2-day annual PhD research symposium attended by all students, plus academic staff and invited speakers.

Funding Notes

Home applicants should contact the supervisor to determine the current funding status for this project. EU applicants should visit the Graduate School webpages for information on specific EU scholarships View Website. International applicants should visit our International Research Scholarships page for information regarding fees and funding at the University View Website.

Related Subjects

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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