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To study a cytoplasmic form of transcription factor AP4 that can control cell morphology and migration

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

Project Description

Transcription factor AP4 is a nuclear protein known to control the gene expression related to cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell migration in human cancer cells. We found that human cells with forced AP4 expression in the cytoplasm by linking it with estrogen receptor protein become larger and longer and possess more ruffles at the cell edges. These changes in cell morphology were not observed in cells overexpressing AP4 protein alone which localizes only in the nucleus. We hypothesize that these morphological changes indicate these cells are more motile than their parental cells and propose to find out the form of endogenous AP4 molecules in the cytoplasm of the cells that may control the morphological changes and cell movement. AP4 is also known to be overexpressed in several types of metastatic cancers and these cancer patients have a poor prognosis. These findings may imply that besides its known role as a transcription factor in the nucleus, AP4 can be expressed in the cytoplasm to control cell migration and metastasis in cancers.

For more information about doctoral scholarship and PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU): Please visit
http://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/study-with-us/admissions/entry-requirements
http://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/admissions/phd/feesscholarships.html

Requirements

The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, or a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in Biology, Biological Sciences or Biochemistry. Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, if the first language is not English. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality.

Degree

The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program.

How to Apply

Interested applicants are advised to email to the following documents for initial review and assessment (please put the project title in the subject line).

• CV
• Two reference letters with company/university letterhead
• Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
• Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of 6.5 or above)
• Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
• Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr. David Sung-Kay Chiu (), whose personal profile is linked below,
http://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/departments/academic-departments/biologicalsciences/staff/david-sung-kay-chiu

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) and provides a monthly stipend of 5000 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching assistance work per year. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool of up to three months, if this is required by the project.

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