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Role of copper ions in the toxicity of α-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease

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  • Full or part time
    Prof R Vilar
    Dr L Ying
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

(4 year MRes + PhD studentship)

This project is one of 11 studentships on offer in the Imperial College EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health

Supervisors: Ramon Vilar (Chemistry), Liming Ying (National Heart & Lung Institute), Alfonso De Simone (Life Sciences), Magdalena Sastre (Brain Sciences)

A common characteristic of neurodegenerative disorders is the presence of misfolded proteins which aggregate and form solid deposits causing neuronal damage. One of such proteins is α-synuclein (AS), which has been associated with neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease. Metal ions such as copper have been proposed to play a role in the formation of these toxic AS assemblies. However, it is not known how copper triggers and stabilises the toxic species along with AS aggregation. This project aims to investigate the interactions between Cu and AS in vitro and in cells using a combination of novel spectroscopic and chemical tools.

The CDT programme is not a standard PhD programme. Throughout the 4 years, there is considerable emphasis upon multidisciplinary and transferable skills, through centre activities beyond the individual research project. The programme cannot be taken without the first (MRes Neurotechnology) year, as it is an integral part of the overall programme.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first or upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent) in an engineering or physical science subject. Students with a biological and medical sciences background may be considered, but candidates must have sufficient quantitative skills to thrive in the programme. You should be looking for a challenging, multi-disciplinary PhD at the interface of neuroscience and engineering.

To apply online, visit www.imperial.ac.uk/neurotechnology/cdt/apply/

If you have questions or would like further information about the project, we encourage you to contact the supervisors directly before making your formal application.

Funding Notes

Studentships pay UK/EU tuition fees, stipend and a generous consumables and travel fund for the duration of the programme (one year of MRes and 3 years of PhD).

Places are open to UK and EU applicants only.

How good is research at Imperial College London in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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