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Identifying novel membrane receptor signaling pathways modulating protein-protein interactions, RISC complex assembly and miRNA biogenesis at homeostatic and stress conditions in cancer progression and metastasis

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Z Timsah
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Membrane signalling is crucial for normal communication between cells or between cells and their environment. This dictates normal cellular behaviour by activating cell surface receptors. These receptors will recruit downstream effectors and and activate signalling pathways to transduce the signal from the membrane to the nucleus. But what if the cell is not receiving extracellular stimulation or is under stress conditions? This project aims to elucidate non-canonical and novel signalling pathways in normal cells vs cancer/transformed cells to identify the underlying factors of cancer development and progression.
The focus will be on ovarian cancer and lung cancer where the student will utilize high throughput screening/genomic editing to elucidate and characterize protein-protein interactions, post-translational modifications, miRNA biogenesis/maturation processes. This will be done on a panel of cell lines to determine cell line /receptor specificity.
The project will pass through multiple phases of molecular biology/cell culturing/biochemical techniques to functional studies and microscopy to identifying clinical relevance in patients using patient tissue samples/ statistical analysis/small molecule inhibitors to eventually establish cancer biomarkers/drug targets. There will be room for learning structural biology and biophysics through multidisciplinary and international collaborations (UK/USA).
The student will develop technical/communication/writing skills to support their professional maturity. The student will be given a main PhD project (for their thesis) along with side-projects to allow for their efficient progression in the field.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

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