Elucidation of protein aggregation using single-molecule fluorescence detection
Protein aggregation leads to a growing range of increasingly common human diseases, including Alzheimers, Parkinsons and macular degeneration. It is also a major cause of side-effects in recombinant protein therapies. Understanding the mechanisms of protein aggregation is of high importance. It is however, also very challenging as the molecular states that lead to aggregate formation are at very low populations relative to the native molecule and the final aggregated forms. Therefore new techniques are required to analyse these low sub-populations.
This cutting-edge PhD project will use a state-of-the-art fluorescence imaging technique for the sensitive detection of very low populations of early-formed aggregate particles. The molecular states that seed aggregation will be analysed to elucidate this mechanism in detail. These results will lead to better understanding of the processes of aggregation-based disease, as well as improve the methods used to formulate therapeutic proteins with fewer aggregates.
The project involves optical fluorescence microscopy, single-molecule detection, instrument modification, protein purification, biophysics and the analysis of aggregation in proteins. Would suit a candidate with a Physics, Mechanical engineering, Electronic engineering or Biochemical engineering degree.
EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training studentship. Fees, plus stipend at standard EPSRC rate plus London Weighting.
Applicants must be EU resident.