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PhD Studentship: Computer Simulations of Biological Macromolecules

University of Leeds

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: EU Students, International Students, Self-funded Students, UK Students
Funding amount: See advert text
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th November 2018
Closes: 6th February 2019

Value:

This project is open to self-funded students and is eligible for funding from the Henry Ellison Scholarship, Leeds Doctoral Scholarships and EPSRC scholarships. All successful UK/EU and international applicants will be considered for funding, in an open competition across the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Number of awards: 1

Deadline: Applications are accepted all year round

Supervisor(s)

Contact Dr Sarah Harris, Professor Daniel Read or Dr. Oliver Harlen to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Computational models are invaluable for visualisation in molecular biology, as they employ our best quantitative physical understanding of biomolecules and their interactions to predict their dynamics, which is often missing from biophysical experiments. Now that biophysical techniques are revealing highly organised supermacromolecular architectures at the length-scale directly above that of single molecules, which was invisible until very recently, there is a need for new computational tools to intepret these experiments.

We are developing two lines of research in supermacromoleular biology – one for DNA, and one for proteins. While it is well known that DNA is the molecule of heredity and that the sequence of bases in DNA encodes the genetic information that defines an organism, the way in which genomes are regulated is not understood. Recent experimental data shows that the physical arrangement of DNA within the nucleus is critical to genetic control. We have developed a model system involving small DNA circles that we can analyse both by experimental methods and atomistic computer modelling using well established computer programs to understand how the packaging of DNA helps in the control and regulation of the cell, and how it influences recognition by other molecules, such as proteins and drug molecules.

Further details about the project.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) (or overseas equivalent), and/or a Master's degree in physics, or a relevant science/engineering degree such as (but not limited to) chemistry, biology, computer science, engineering, or mathematics.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'Computer Simulations of Biological Macromolecules' as well as Professor Daniel Read as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

   
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