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Understanding amyloid aggregation mechanisms of alpha- and gamma synuclein in vitro and in vivo

Project Description

A key pathological hallmark of synucleopathies, including Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is the formation of cytotoxic alpha-synuclein and gamma-synuclein aggregates respectively, that lead to neuronal cell death. An important mechanism how synucleopathies progress in vivo is cross-seeding and prion-like spreading from one cell-type to another. However, how syn/syn form aggregates in vivo and how they cross-seed from one neuronal cell to another is unclear. This project will combine biochemistry, structural biology and in vivo work using the C. elegans models of neurodegenerative diseases to capture how synucleopathies form during aging and how aggregate formation can be halted in the living organism. In addition to in vitro assays, we will utilize a range of bioimaging techniques (lightsheet and confocal microscopy) as well as molecule screening (affimers) to establish this. Thus, this project combines exciting areas of modern biochemistry and organismal biology that is of fundamental importance.

Please see following links for more information:

Twitter: @HawleLab

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2020:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference and research funding

At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.

EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency to receive full studentship

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

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How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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