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PhD Studentship (4 Year Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Department of Pathology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Cambridge
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: See advert for details
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th December 2023
Closes: 8th January 2024
Reference: PK39690

Applications are invited for a fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship in the field of targeted protein degradation and ubiquitin biology, based in the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professors Heike Laman and Kathryn Lilley, and Dr Monica Rodrigo at AstraZeneca.

Scientific area

Targeted Protein Degradation (TPD) is a new therapeutic modality that makes use of a cell's degradation machinery to generate a pharmacological effect. PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs) are small molecules designed to bring about the degradation of potentially any type of protein, including those deemed undruggable, by hijacking the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS). PROTAC technology one of the fastest growth areas in the biopharmaceutical industry, with the first class of molecules already in clinical trials. Understanding the effects of PROTACs on cells will enable the advancement of this new drug modality. By discovering their spatiotemporal effects on the ubiquitinated cellular proteome, we can anticipate and mitigate their toxicity in patients. 

This PhD project is part of the Integrative Toxicology Training Partnership (ITTP) will explore the differential effects of PROTACs vs enzyme inhibitors on the ubiquinomes of cells.  The student will work between academic labs in the Departments of Pathology and Biochemistry in the laboratories of Professor Heike Laman and Professor Kathryn Lilley and at AstraZeneca with Dr Monica Rodrigo.  The student will become proficient in tissue culture methods, the design and implementation of time and dose-dependent assays, biochemical isolation of ubiquitinated proteins, imaging, including live cell imaging techniques, proteomics sample preparation, mass spectrometry and spatial proteomics experiments using LOPIT, and the use of computation tools to interrogate these data. In addition, the student will take ITTP core curriculum courses, as part of their comprehensive research training.

The studentship is fully funded for 4 years with an MRC UKRI stipend guidance of £18,622 per annum, payment of University fees at the Home rate (£9,858 per annum) for three years, a research consumables budget of £5,000 per annum and annual membership to join a learned society, like the British Toxicology Society.  UKRI recommendations will be used to adjust the stipend annually, in line with the GDP deflator.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

Applications are welcome from internal candidates who would like to apply for the role on the basis of a secondment from their current role in the University.

Requirements

Applicants should hold (or expect to obtain) the equivalent of a UK 2.1 or higher in an undergraduate honours or Masters degree in a relevant subject such as biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, computational biology. The studentship is open to those eligible for the Home rate of University fees.

For more information, please contact Professor Laman by email at hl316@cam.ac.uk before applying. Please email a cover letter, and a CV including (i) academic transcripts, (ii) any previous research experience, (iii) the contact details for at least two academic referees to Professor Laman (hl316@cam.ac.uk).

Your cover letter should explain your motivation why you wish to pursue a PhD in this area, outline your research interests and background, and describe the qualities and experience you will bring to the role.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

 

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