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White Rose BBSRC DTP studentship: Using Dynamic Combinatorial Selection Methods to Identify Chemical Modifications of Protein Function


   Faculty of Biological Sciences


Leeds United Kingdom Biophysics Cell Biology

About the Project

Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs), are ubiquitous stretches of protein that do not adopt a stable structure, are a major class of protein structure found in all living organisms, and, are predicted to be present in around a third of eukaryotic proteins. Crucially, IDRs are important and overrepresented in key signaling and disease pathways, spanning cancer to disorders of protein aggregation.

This PhD studentship will exploit chemical biology approaches to understand and manipulate the aggregation behaviour of α-synuclein – an intrinsically disordered protein which plays a key role in the neurodegenerative condition: Parkinson’s disease. We will apply a state of the art combination of peptide and protein chemistry, fragment based ligand discovery methods and advanced biophysical techniques and structural methods to identify modifications to the sequence of α-synuclein and systematically map the consequences for its aggregation behaviour in vitro and in cells. 

The student will join a vibrant, diverse and collaborative group of researchers to gain skills and knowledge in chemical, structural and molecular biology. The results will establish a platform to identify modulators of IDRs/IDPs and open the door to new methods to delineate aggregation mechanisms a basic question of critical importance and tools to drive drug-discovery.

Funding Note

This studentship is part of the BBSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology. (https://www.whiterose-mechanisticbiology-dtp.ac.uk/). Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 4 years. The funding includes:

Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£15,609 for 2021/22 starts. Awards increase every year, typically with inflation).

UK tuition fees (Around £4,500 per year)

Research Training and Support Grant (RTSG)

Conference and Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) allowances

We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from inside and outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

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

How to apply

Applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship project please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert
  • For source of funding please state you are applying for a White Rose BBSRC DTP funded studentship

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