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Organisation and Dynamics of Supramolecular Protein Complexes using Bio-Atomic Force Microscopy

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Liu
    Dr Barrett
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Numerous biological processes take place in the cellular membrane and require a set of integral membrane proteins that functionally co-operate. The lateral organisation and dynamics of membrane protein complexes in the biological membrane are crucial for molecular recognition and signal/energy transduction. In recent years, state-of-the-art nanotechnology, termed Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), has shown unique and powerful capabilities in imaging biological membranes and monitoring molecular dynamics with nanometre resolution. The aim of this PhD project is to utilise AFM, in combination with biochemistry and image analysis to dissect the mechanism underlying the structure, self-assembly dynamics and functional coordination of supramolecular protein complexes and bacterial machinery. Advanced knowledge of the molecular basis of protein assembly will provide essential information for the bioengineering of artificial membranes and machineries to revolutionise bioenergy production, food security, health and disease diagnosis.

The PhD student will work in a multidisciplinary research team across biology, physics and chemistry, and will obtain extensive training in molecular biology, biochemistry and computational programming. Training in all aspects of the project will be provided with access to state-of-the-art infrastructure (AFM, scanning near-field microscopy, electron microscopy, optical microscopy and spectroscopy) in the Institute of Integrative Biology and the Department of Physics, and with collaborators in Europe and US, which means that there will be good opportunity for career development.

The studentship is for 3.5 years and is intended to start in September 2016. The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,057 per annum, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of the studentship. Review of application materials will begin on 1st January 2016 and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Candidates will need to hold, or expect to hold, a first class (or high II.1) degree in biology, physics, or equivalent, and have demonstrated an ability to work in a laboratory environment. Experience of project work in microscopy and/or programming would be an advantage. To apply for this studentship, please send your CV and a cover letter with contact information of two referees to Ms Linda March ([email protected]).

For informal enquiries about this project, please contact Dr Luning Liu ([email protected], website: http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~lnliu).

Funding Notes

The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,057 per annum, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of the studentship.

References

Nano Letters, 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b04259;
Biochim Biophys Acta - Bioenergetics, 2015, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2015.11.010;
Trends Plant Sci, 2013, 18(5): 277-286;
Appl. Phys. Lett. (2013) 102, 053701;
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2012, 109(28): 11431-11436;
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2011, 108 (23): 9455-9459.

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