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SUMOylation of presynaptic Ca2+ channels as a modulator of synaptic function

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  • Full or part time
    Prof G J Stephens
    Dr M Dallas
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD position within the Cellular and Molecular Neurosciences research group in the School of Pharmacy, University of Reading under the joint supervision of Prof Gary Stephens, Dr Mark Dallas and Dr Graeme Cottrell.

This 3-year studentship will use electrophysiological, molecular biological and immunological techniques to investigate the effects of the covalent attachment of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) to presynaptic calcium channels on synaptic function. SUMOylation is an important post-translational modification process and has been implicated in the development of disease states. Calcium channels play critical roles in many physiological processes in the central and peripheral nervous system and represent a major class of therapeutic targets. The successful applicant will receive training in electrophysiological (patch clamp recording) and cellular neuroscience techniques (including tissue culture of native neurons) as well as in molecular and cellular biological and immunological techniques. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to attend national and international conferences to present results. A PhD in this important area of neuroscience research will provide specialist training in neurobiology, electrophysiology and a broad training in cell biology approaches.

Dr G. J. Stephens:

Funding Notes

Self Funded PhD Students Only
Candidates holding or expecting 1st class, 2(i) or equivalent BSc and/or Masters degrees in appropriate subject areas are invited to apply for this studentship. Some prior experience with the systems and methods to be employed will be an advantage, but is not essential as full training will be given.


Silveirinha V, Stephens GJ, Cimarosti H (2013) Molecular targets underlying SUMO-mediated neuroprotection in brain ischemia. J Neurochem 127, 580-91. doi: 10.1111/jnc.12347.

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FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.20

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