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Structural biology of Apoptosis Signal-regulating Kinases

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A PhD Project is available for a domestic or international candidate to study the structure and function of Apoptosis Signal-regulating Kinases (ASK1–3). ASK proteins are therapeutic targets relevant to both cancer and liver diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.  
The project builds upon our recently published study (Weijman et al, PNAS 2017), and further unpublished work. Various expression systems and biochemical assays are already established, and will be used by the candidate to investigate ASK regulation by interacting proteins and post-translational modifications.

The Biochemistry Department is well-resourced for structural biology, including crystallisation robotics, a Formulatrix RockImager, ITC and SPR, regular access to the Australian Synchrotron and the nearby Otago Centre for Electron Microscopy (including a Vitrobot and 200 kEV microscope equipped with a Direct Electron DE-20 detector). The University of Otago is New Zealand’s top ranked research university, with a thriving postgraduate research culture (, and is located in a vibrant student city.

The successful candidate will have a BSc(Hons) or MSc in Biochemistry or a related discipline, a GPA of 8.0 or higher, be able to interact well with other members of the laboratory, and be enthusiastic to use structural biology to investigate biologically relevant questions.  

To apply, please contact Dr Peter Mace () to explain your interest in this project. In addition, please include:
-A copy of your CV
-A copy of your academic transcript
-A PDF copy of your dissertation (if available)
-Evidence of English language ability (, which is strictly enforced by the University.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will be supported through the University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship scheme, with scholarships awarded based on student grades plus evidence of research excellence. A GPA of 8.0 or greater is essential.

Funding for the PhD scholarship is NZ$25,000 pa for three years. This scholarship is tax free and tuition fees are waived. International candidates receive the same package as New Zealand residents provided they reside in New Zealand for the duration of the project and study under a New Zealand student visa.  

Related Subjects

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