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Inhibiting amyloid development using natural compounds: a molecular dynamics study


Project Description

Amyloid fibrils are highly ordered protein aggregates associated with many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Flavanoids, which are polyphenols such as curcumin present in the human diet, have been shown to inhibit fibril formation in tau protein which is abundant in neurons. However, the molecular mechanisms of this inhibition remain elusive. This project will utilise molecular dynamics simulation, exploiting the ARCHIE_WeSt supercomputer at Strathclyde (www.archie-west.ac.uk), to understand how the inhibitors interact with protein aggregates; how do they interfere with the nucleation and growth pathway of the fibrils, and can they reverse aggregation? As appropriate, the work can be complemented with in vitro cytotoxicity testing, with the aim of developing effective aggregation inhibitors with the potential for disease prevention.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Information about the host department can be found by visiting:

http://www.strath.ac.uk/engineering/chemicalprocessengineering

http://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/research/chemicalprocessengineering/

Funding Notes

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. However, excellent candidates will be eligible to be considered for a University scholarship. Tuition fees for 2017 for postgraduate research students at the University of Strathclyde are £4,195 for Home/EU students and £18,000 for international students. This does not include bench fees.

Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering/science discipline, and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research.

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