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Structural regulation of SMC5/6 complex in response to cellular DNA damage and invaded viral DNA

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr Qian Wu, Prof F. Sobott  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

We are interested in investigating how the signaling pathways which control the DNA damage response identify cellular DNA damage, but also virus DNA. Do they share similar mechanisms, and if not, what are the differences between them? We are focusing our study on SMC5/6 complexes which are important for maintaining genome stability in response to DNA damage and viral infection. We want to expand our fundamental understanding of the regulation of SMC5/6 at a molecular level. Our research will also provide knowledge to develop better anti-viral treatments in the future. To achieve this goal, we will combine cutting-edge techniques such as cryo-EM and structural mass spectrometry to visualize protein complexes structures and characterize the regulation of their functions.

We are looking for an ambitious and enthusiastic student to join our research group. Successful PhD candidate will become an expert in protein purification, complex biochemical reconstitution/characterization and structural determination using cryo-EM and mass spectrometry through extensive training in our group and facilities centers. 


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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