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The mechanism of gating and transport of pentameric Magnesium ion channels

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

About the Project

Magnesium ions are a co-factor in many important biological processes particularly because of the requirement for Mg2+ in the hydrolysis of Adenosine tri-phosphate, the ubiquitous cellular energy source. The pentameric ion channel CorA is a key factor in determining the concentration of Mg2+ in cells of bacteria and archaea, has homologues in the mitochondrial membranes of eukarya, and has been proposed as a general mechanistic model for pentameric ion channels. This project will use a well characterized CorA channel to resolve the detailed mechanism of Mg2+ transport through channels. This will be achieved by examining the relationship between ionic concentration and channel gating using high-resolution structural biology techniques.

Entry Requirements:
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject. Candidates with an interest in structural biology are encouraged to apply. For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website). For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (View Website).

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


Cleverley, R.M. Kean, J., Shintre, C.A., Baldock, C., Derrick, J.P., Ford, R.C., Prince, S.M. (2015) “The Cryo EM structure of the CorA Channel from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii in low Magnesium conditions”. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1848: 2206-15.

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