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Understanding how disruptions in signalling pathways cause human disease

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Dario Alessi
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

My laboratory focuses on unravelling the roles of components that regulate protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation pathways emerging from the analysis of human disease. The aim of our work is to discover how these pathways are organised, how they recognise signals, how the signal moves down the pathway to elicit physiological responses and to comprehend what goes wrong in human disease. We hope that these findings will enable us to play the engineer in devising new strategies to treat disease. Wherever possible, we will work closely with pharmaceutical companies, as well as chemical biologists, to help with the development of tool compounds that specifically inhibit the signalling components with which we are working. In combination with genetic approaches, these tool compounds will be very powerful in helping us to decipher the physiological roles of signalling pathways and in validating to what extent inhibiting these networks effectively suppresses disease.

Possible projects include
1. Understanding the important role that LRRK2 protein kinases plays in Parkinson’s disease. This project aims to build on recent progress that our laboratory has made (PMID:27474410 and 26824392). It is aimed a deciphering how LRRK2 is regulated and functions and how mutations in this enzyme cause Parkinson’s disease.

Please see for more projects

Funding Notes

We offer a 4 year studentship in which you would join a particular lab in the Unit. However, we strongly encourage prospective students to become part of the 4-year PhD programme in which you carry out rotation projects in two labs within the Unit ( This studentship is jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the University of Dundee and carries a tax-free stipend of £20,000 per annum

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