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Regulation and mechanics in polarity

   School of Life Sciences

   Tuesday, October 31, 2023  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Membranes and their protein organization are a frontier in our understanding of cell biology.

We focus on polarized trafficking as a model to uncover fundamental mechanisms in the organization of structures at membranes. We aim to understand the role of protein complexes including the exocyst.

This project seeks to answer mechanistic questions regarding

  1. the regulation of protein structural mechanics in polarized trafficking,
  2. and the consequences of signalling on this pathway and its organization.

Because signalling in polarized trafficking is affected in metastasis of cancer, we position our research for the broadest impact in forming a foundation for drug discovery. We take a reconstitution and synthetic biology approach in combination with the powerful tools available for microscopy. Our philosophy is to address these questions of challenging biology using quantitative methods in a hypothesis-driven approach.

The successful applicant will join a cohort of students in a comprehensive induction programme, later participating in a wide range of other training activities, including student-led symposia and retreats. They will also have the opportunity to attend annual symposium and meetings as their research and training progresses.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Dr David H. Murray ()

For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.


Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK in a relevant discipline.

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s English language requirements are available online:


Step 1: Email Dr David Murray () to

  • send a copy of your CV and
  • discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Dr Murray, follow the School of Life Sciences application procedure: Life sciences research degrees | University of Dundee.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses, via external sponsorship or self-funding.

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