Marie Curie PhD Fellowship on the Regulation of Human Mitochondrial Expression

Newcastle University

Value of award

An annual stipend will be paid to cover fees at Home rates and living expenses. The amount of stipend will vary depending on where the students appointed are from and their current circumstances.

Number of awards: 1
Start date and duration: Start date to be agreed. The funding covers a three year PhD.
Application closing date: Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.


Professor Chrzanowska-Lightowlers (Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research) invites applications from highly qualified and motivated students.

This project is part of an International Marie Curie funded Innovative Training Network centred on the regulation of mitochondrial expression (REMIX), and focusses on protein synthesis within human mitochondria, dysfunction and disease.

Ribosomes stall on mRNA because of secondary structure, damage, when charged-tRNA is limiting, or to co-ordinate emerging polypeptides with chaperones. Although mechanisms exist to dismantle these stalled complexes, none have been recorded in human mitochondria, which harbour 4 translational termination factor family members. All 4 are essential for cell viability, but only mtRF1a is involved in canonical termination. Mitoribosomal profiling will be employed to investigate the roles of the remaining three factors in rescuing stalled mitoribosomes and quality during mitochondrial protein synthesis.

The Fellow will integrate into the interdisciplinary environment of the WT Mitochondrial Research Centre comprising six groups with >50 researchers investigating projects on clinical, diagnostic and fundamental science. Career development will benefit from excellent training in both scientific and transferable skills through internships and training courses organised within the network of academic and industrial partners in Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and UK. As part of their training, Fellows from REMIX laboratories will meet at summer schools and workshops.


Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor Z Chrzanowska-Lightowlers, Institute of Neuroscience

Eligibility Criteria

As part of an EU mobility programme all applicants to Newcastle University must be moving from another European country to take up this opportunity. For this reason UK residents are not eligible.

Candidates must have a high quality Master’s degree or equivalent, enthusiasm for life science research, strong motivation to learn and be part of a team, good communication and writing skills in English, knowledge of mitochondrial biology and protein synthesis.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section 
  • select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences - Neuroscience' as the programme of study 
  • insert the studentship code IN087 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code IN087 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications


For further information please email Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers

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