PhD Studentship: Protein Aggregation in Ageing

University of Cambridge - Department of Chemistry

Applications are invited for a 4-year BBSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship available from October 2017 for a project investigating the role of protein aggregation in ageing mechanisms.  The project is a collaboration with MedImmune (part of AstraZeneca), and will be supervised by Professor David Klenerman FRS (University of Cambridge), and Dr Damian Crowther and Dr Andy Billinton (MedImmune) and includes a 3 month placement with Medimmune.

Protein aggregates play a fundamental role in ageing and the disruption of protein homeostasis. However the contribution of this to the frailty of old age is not well understood.  Many proteins implicated in these processes are intrinsically disordered in their native states and can aggregate to produce amyloid structures with a common beta sheet structure. Once formed, these beta-sheet aggregates are thought to be damaging to cells by common mechanisms which involve disruption of the cell membrane and influx of calcium. The project will employ biophysical techniques to investigate these aggregation mechanisms and the way in which damage spreads from cell to cell.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) the equivalent of a UK first class or upper second class honours degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in chemistry, physics, biophysics, biochemistry or neuroscience or other relevant field.  They should be keen to perform multi-disciplinary research, to learn and apply new biophysical techniques, and have an interest in protein aggregation.

The studentship provides a maintenance grant (at the Research Council UK rate + CASE supplement) and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for those UK/EU nationals who fully satisfy the residence requirements of the UK Research Councils. A fees-only award may be made to EU nationals who are not resident in the UK. Owing to funding restrictions imposed by the sponsor, non-EU citizens cannot be considered.

Applications should include a cover letter, CV, detailed academic transcripts and the contact details for at least two academic referees, and should be sent by email to Sharon Connor ( For queries regarding this post, please contact Professor David Klenerman (

Please quote reference MA10396 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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