Biological Sciences (PhD)

2019-20 (also available for 2020-21)

This course is eligible for Doctoral loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

23 September 2019

13 January 2020

20 April 2020

Duration

The maximum duration for a full-time PhD is 3 years (36 months) with an optional submission pending (writing up period) of 12 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

Application deadlines

For PGR start date January 2020

29 November 2019

For PGR start date April 2020

11 February 2020

For PGR start date September 2020

02 July 2020

About the research degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered.This programme allows you to explore and pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

A full-time PhD is a three year full-time programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis that should not normally exceed 80,000 words.

Completing a PhD can give you a great sense of personal achievement and help you develop a high level of transferable skills which will be useful in your subsequent career, as well as contributing to the development of knowledge in your chosen field.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members to advise and support you on your project.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

  • a Master's degree from a UK University or equivalent, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • an upper second class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with the written element at least 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

The human DNA damage response (DDR) involves a multitude of pathways that respond to the great variety of DNA lesions that cells face. Quite often in cancers some DNA repair pathways may be deregulated, potentially allowing cancer cells to drive aggressive disease or resist chemotherapeutic treatments. We aim to characterise novel factors involved in cancer-related DDR by biochemical, structural and cell biological approaches.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) increasingly threatens our health and well-being, as infectious microbes evolve to become resistant to existing antibiotics. There is an ongoing need to discover new antibiotic classes and bring them to the clinic. The Minor Groove Binder (MGB) drug discovery platform of the Universities of Strathclyde and Huddersfield contains a family of novel compounds one of which, MGB-BP-3, is ready to enter Phase II Clinical Trial for the treatment of Clostridium difficile, in partnership with our developers MGB Biopharma.1 MGBs kill bacteria through binding to their DNA and interrupting essential bacterial metabolism, but importantly, they act at a number of targets within each cell, which means that variants that are resistant to MGBs have not been seen.2,3 We wish to investigate a range of new compounds from the MGB portfolio as potential agents for clinically challenging infections, principally those of the ESKAPE pathogen set, in addition to exploring their capacity to synergise with existing antibiotics.4,5 Beyond this, we are also interest in performing hit to lead optimisation in the antifungal, antimycobacterial and antiparasitic fields.

In a pilot study, we have already shown that in situations where a clinical pathogen has developed resistance to an existing antibiotic, dual therapy with an MGB may extend the effective lifetime of that antibiotic. This would ‘repurpose’ that ailing clinical antibiotic and extend its useful lifetime.

At present, there are a number of interesting avenues of both Chemistry and Biology research, which we wish to evaluate:

Chemistry 1. Design of novel antifungal MGBs 2. Design of novel antimycobacterial MGBs, particularly for TB. 3. Design of novel antiparasitic MGBs. 4. Design of novel antibacterial MGBs effective against Gram-negative pathogens. 5. Investigation of MGB physicochemical property modulation on activity profile against various pathogenic organisms.

Biology 1. Investigation of MGB synergy with a range of clinically relevant antibiotics. 2. Investigation of MGB synergy with a range of efflux pump inhibitors. 3. Investigation of MGB synergy with other MGBs. 4. Investigation of mechanism of action of novel MGBs that are exiting our current synthetic medicinal chemistry pipeline.

This project provides students with the opportunity to contribute to our Global MGB Drug Development efforts, and assist with developing a better understanding of our emerging new class of antibiotic.

References 1 http://www.mgb-biopharma.com/mgb-biopharma-successfully-completes-phase-i-clinical-trial-with-oral-mgb-bp-3-a-truly-novel-antibiotic-targeting-clostridium-difficile-infections/ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02518607?term=mgb&rank=1 2 F. J. Scott et al., Eur J Med Chem. 2017 Aug 18;136:561-572. 3 F. J. Scott et al., Euro. J. Med. Chem., 2016, 116, 116–125. 4 F. J. Scott et al., Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2016, 26, 3478-86. 5 F. J. Scott et al., Bioorg. Med. Chem Lett., 2016, 26, 3326-3329.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

No supervisors found

How to apply

Outline

Our understanding of eukaryotic cell biology and metabolism has predominantly been informed by studies on mammalian, yeast, and plant cells. Yet, protists by far and away account for the majority of evolutionary diversity in eukaryotes. During the last 15 years as a consequence of whole genome sequencing, surprisingly rich variations in central metabolism, metabolic compartmentalisation and organelle biogenesis have been glimpsed within protists, and thus within eukaryotes generally. Using molecular genetics, biochemical, structural biology and/or computational approaches projects studying the evolutionary cell biology of organellar metabolism in trypanosomatids and other evolutionarily divergent protists are available.

Funding

There is currently no studentship or scholarship available to support this project. Enquiries from eligible self-funding or sponsored students are welcome. In addition to the tuition fee, a bench fee of £8000 per annum will also be required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The genetic code shows redundancy, with most amino acids being encoded by between two to six different codons. Analyses of gene sequences show that almost all organisms do not use these codons equally. This bias in codon usage results in an excess of GC or AT-ending codons and may be the result of a variety of evolutionary processes. Much of the current work on codon usage has centred on multicellular eukaryotes, despite unicellular organisms making up the majority of eukaryotic diversity. This project aims to screen the genomes of unicellular eukaryotes in order to understand the forces controlling codon usage across the eukaryotic tree.

Funding

A minimum of an upper second class or first class BSc Honours degree in Biology, Microbiology.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Rodents from the genus Apodemus are the most common mammals of the Paleoarctic region. They occupy environments as different as Spain and Siberia, contribute to spread of human diseases like Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis; some apparently separate species, A. flavicolis and A. sylvaticus, live in sympatry in the forests and fields of the European Plains. Apodemus are a rich target for evolutionary studies on hybridisation, host–pathogen interactions and adaptations. However, they are very underdeveloped in terms of their genomic and genetic resources. For example, most of the published work use short fragments of mtDNA and around 10 microsatellites to study phylogeogaphic relationships between populations of Apodemus in Europe and Asia. This number of markers is insufficient for studies of adaptations, which are the main interests of the BrykLab. Thanks to several collaborations with researchers in UK and rest of Europe, we have access to contemporary samples of Apodemus from around Poland, as well as to an extensive collection of samples dating back to the second World War that enable spatial and temporal comparisons of genetic diversity. We aim to employ RAD–seq to develop a set of whole-genome genetic markers in Apodemus and use them to conduct several comparisons of genetic variation and population structure in A. flavicolis and A. sylvaticus. This fundamental work will inform and direct further high-resolution studies on adaptations, sympatric speciation or host-pathogen interactions, among others.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

A wide range of whole genome sequences are available for a number of bacteria from unique environments. This project will investigate these genomes with a specific focus on their carbohydrate biochemistry, ability to form biofilms and cellular mechanisms used to survive in extreme environments.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The research in my lab is aimed at understanding normal development, metabolic physiology and aging-related diseases at molecular, cellular and physiological level. My lab is particularly interested on how glycosylation of membrane proteins regulates cell signalling in 1) neural development and regeneration and 2) metabolic physiology related to obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and aging-related disorders. To this end we apply molecular and developmental genetic approaches in the nematode C. elegans in vivo and C. elegans models for human diseases (such as neuroendocrine disorders, osteo- and chondrodysplasia syndromes, metabolic disorders).

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

To investigate the structural changes that define the gating-behaviour of outer-membrane channels and to unravel the ways these structural/functional changes regulate signalling cascades in apoptosis and aging. Understanding of these relationships will enable the development of artificial channels with desired functionalities/characteristics for the generation of a new array of in vivo and in vitro biological tools.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Klotho/beta-Klotho (KLB) are transmembrane proteins that act as co-receptors for endocrine fibroblast growth factors (FGF19, -21 and -23) to activate their cognate FGF receptors (FGFRs). Klotho was originally identified as ageing-related gene when disruption of Klotho gene in mice led to phenotypes resembling ageing and shortened life-span1. We have previously shown that the function of Klotho/KLB in ageing is evolutionarily conserved in the nematode C. elegans2, which has two Klotho/KLB orthologs. C. elegans also has evolutionarily conserved insulin signalling and the role of insulin signalling in longevity and the effects of glucose on shortening lifespan were first discovered in C. elegans3. These effects are mediated via the forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor DAF-163. The long-lived C. elegans mutants in insulin signalling remain healthy and mobile after wild type worms look old, suggesting that the mutations not only prolong lifespan but also enhance healthspan of the aged. Aim and hypothesis The aim of this project is to understand at molecular level the cellular changes that are regulated by insulin signalling and Klotho in longevity. Specifically we will identify the FOXO/DAF-16 target genes up- or down regulated in long-lived C. elegans mutants.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Bifidobacteria are a group of strictly anaerobic bacteria often associated with the human gut microbiome. This project will investigate the impact of these bacteria and their products on the health and immunology of human gut epithelial cells.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £xx per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We propose to study the DNA damage response in early-branching animals and protists, to develop simple models reflecting mammalian genome integrity. Simple model animals may include multicellular Trichoplax, through to more complex cnidarians, ctenophores and porifera, or early branching unicellular protists such as choanoflagellates. The project will include a significant proportion of bioinformatics and genomics, alongside molecular biology and protein biochemistry methods.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The project will explore the evolution and polymorphic variation of molybdoflavoenzymes, aldehyde oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase involved in drug and xenobiotic metabolism in diverse species using genetically engineered cell lines / organisms, bioinformatics, structural biology and enzyme kinetics.

Funding

There is currently no funding for this project and we encourage interested self-funding students to apply. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The project will explore the evolution and polymorphic variation of vitamin K epoxide reductases involved in coagulation, bone development and protection against oxidative stress in diverse species using genetically engineered cell lines and organisms, bioinformatics, structural biology and enzyme kinetics.

Funding

There is currently no funding for this project and we encourage interested self-funding students to apply. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £8,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Alkaliphilic microorganisms occupy a unique environmental niche where the pH is often >pH 9.0. In order to survive and thrive in these environments these microorganisms have developed a range of unique biochemical processes. This project will isolate undescribed organisms from a range of alkaline environments and characterise biochemical and environmental capabilities of these organisms.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £xx per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Microorganisms from extremophilic environments (thermophiles, halophiles etc.) have long been an excellent source of novel enzymes for the biotechnology and chemicals industries. We aim to isolate and characterise novel proteins from known and uncharacterised extremophilic bacteria, archaea, fungi or viruses, that potentially act in DNA metabolism and other related processes. The project may include microbial ecology, molecular biology, biochemistry and structural biology approaches.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Members of the Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor (TNFR) family regulate epithelial cell growth / proliferation as well as cell death and autophagy pathways. Our previous work has demonstrated for the first time how members of the TNFR family, such as CD40, regulate growth versus apoptosis in normal, malignant and ‘para-malignant’ cells with defined genetic alternations. Understanding the precise mechanisms underlying the actions of these receptors will allow the design of novel, tumour-specific anticancer therapies.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,500 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Microbiology has an impact on a range of processes that impact the safe disposal of radioactive wastes. We have a long running interest in the degradation of cellulose based radioactive wastes at high pH and the fate of gases such as methane, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £5,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Using human disorders of keratinisation as a model, the role of keratinocyte adhesion for the function of the epidermis will be studied. Rare genetic skin diseases are pathophysiologically heterogeneous; disturbed cell adhesion based on faulty protease pathways is major mechanism of these disorders. We want to study these mechanisms to understand the importance of proteases and protease inhibitors in the etiology of skin diseases and reveal signalling pathways involved in these processes. Keratinocytes will be analysed in primary and organotypic cell culture and their alterations characterised in particular disorders.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The molecular control of skin development and the switch from cell proliferation to differentiation are not well understood. A key regulator in this process is the transcription factor p63. We want to study the expression of TP63 in differentiating human epidermal keratinocytes and identify the role of different isoforms over time. We will then focus on the isoform TAp63 and terminal differentiation because disturbed epidermal barrier function is involved in several diseases including rare skin diseases such as congenital ichthyoses and common complex diseases such as atopic dermatitis. We will use RNA-seq and qRT-PCR to identify differential gene expression and generate various cell models with transient and permanent gene knockdown. Full-skin models will be generated to study changes in epidermal morphology, gene expression, cell adhesion, and skin barrier function. Genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9 will be used to obtain knockout cells and specific mutants. Results will describe a regulatory network that is critical for skin development and homeostasis.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Lyme disease and Relapsing Fever are vector-borne diseases resulting from infection by bacteria of the Borrelia genus. Borrelia burgdorferi, an obligate parasite, has evolved complex immune-evasion strategies to survive extended periods of time in the mammalian host. The aim of this project is to improve our understanding of this unusual pathogen by studying a range of bacterial surface proteins and how they interact with a range of molecules in human blood.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

ETS transcription factors are key regulators of many developmental pathways during cellular differentiation. When deregulated in certain cancers ETS factors can exhibit diverse effects, partly due to their overlapping DNA binding specificities. This project will attempt to discover novel interacting ETS partners which help direct their specific functions, and biochemically and structurally characterise novel and known interactions. This will further shed light on ETS biology, but also potentiate attempts to targets these factors in specific cancers.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is not only increasing in prevalence in the northern hemisphere, but causes pernicious disease often with few symptoms. We intend to further study Borrelia biology by applying structural biochemistry and molecular biology approaches to characterise novel proteins that could act as pathogenicity determinates. The project will focus on proteins involved in DNA metabolism, potentially leading to new drug targets or vaccine candidates.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

ADP-ribosylation is an enigmatic protein modification derived from the cellular metabolite NAD+, whose role is relatively poorly studied in cell biology. We aim to characterise novel factors involved both mono- and poly-(ADP)-ribose modification and recognition, particularly those associated with cancer and the DNA damage response. Characterisation will use biochemical, structural and cell biological approaches.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Gram negative pathogens have good environmental survival in part due to their ability to form biofilms. Another aspect of this survival is the ability to resist common biocides. This project will investigate the impact of sub-lethal concentration of common biocides on the survival of Gram negative pathogens and their antibiotic resistance.

Funding

There is currently no external funding for this project. Candidates need to be able to cover the university’s tuition fees and a £6,000 per annum bench fee.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Cannabinoids can modulate the development of epidermal cells and are potential drugs for a range of skin diseases. Their activity depends on their interaction with certain cannabinoid receptors of keratinocytes, the molecules involved in these mechanisms are not well studied though. Keratinocytes have a clearly defined spatio-temporal differentiation pattern, which is represented by corresponding gene expression profiles. We want to study this interaction in a collaborative project by investigating effects of various cannabinoids on the development of the epidermis and the role of known cannabinoid receptors. Keratinocytes will be analysed in primary and organotypic cell culture and changes in their proliferation, differentiation, expression profiles and active pathways will be characterised. These studies have an impact on the prospective use of cannabinoids in therapies for inflammatory and other complex disorders.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,500 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Impairment of the epidermal barrier function is a pathophysiological feature of severel genetic skin diseases. Recent work has demonstrated that the barrier is compromised because of lack of long chain ceramides in cases of congenital ichthyosis. Here we want to study the role of ceramide synthase 3 in epidermal development. Enzyme function is studied by characterising the impact of functional domains on enzyme activity, its activation and downregulation and potential binding partners. The role of ceramide synthase activity in normal and pathological epidermal differentiation will be determined with a focus on the permeability barrier integrity.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

It is well established that aging is a progressive deterioration of an organism’s cellular structures and homeostatic mechanisms, with an increasing decline with age in an organism’s ability to correctly perform normal cellular functions. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage arising from respiration-associated reactive oxygen species or inaccurate mtDNA replication and repair is linked with normal and premature aging, and other age-associated degenerative disorders affecting healthspan.

Little is known of how mitochondria repair the damage to their DNA, and in particular, the roles of lesion bypassing DNA polymerases, several of which may be targeted to the mitochondria. Some DNA polymerases may exhibit either protective or mutagenic effects on mtDNA, suggesting their deregulation could influence not only cancer development, but mitochondrial aging and hence normal life- and healthspan.

We will study these DNA polymerases to assess how they influence mtDNA integrity in human cells using in vivo and in vitro approaches, and also if they influence organismal lifespan with the Caenorhabditis elegans worm model system. The project brings together UK and international laboratories in the fields of genome integrity, metabolism, C. elegans and oxidative DNA repair.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The normal function of the epithelial cells that line the intestinal mucosa is dependent on their close interaction with the vast and complex micro-flora that resides in the intestine. Most in vitro research in this area has concentrated on the effects of individual bacterial species grown as platonic cultures. This project will investigate the role of biofilms which is more representative of conditions found in the native intestine.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15.000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Outer membrane vesicles which are actively secreted from the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria could have an important role in mediating the host’s response to a range of bacteria. This project will use a variety of in vitro cell models to help understand the cellular processes which drive these potentially pathogenic responses.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £15,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The principle substrate for energy transfer in mammalian cells is ATP, although other nucleotide phosphates play vital roles in specific processes. Some bacteria are capable of using alternative sources of energy such as long chain polyphosphates, and some can use both ATP and polyphosphate as phosphoryl-donors. Certain mammalian cell types contain significant amounts of polyphosphate concentrated in to specific organelles but its role or purpose in these sites is not known. The proposed PhD project is aimed at investigation of these polyphosphates to attempt to establish whether they have a metabolic function or activity, how they are synthesized and how they are bound in particular organelles. The project will use a variety of cell biological and molecular techniques as required, including high resolution NMR to study the metabolism of known polyphosphate substrates.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £6,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The aim of the project is an efficient and targeted transport of functional proteins into the viable epidermis using innovative drug delivery systems. Using congenital ichthyosis as an example, options for topical treatment of skin diseases will be studied. Suitable cellular model systems including reconstituted skin have to be developed. Skin models will be assessed for the therapeutic outcome by analysing protein uptake, cell interactions, cellular localisation, biological availability, and the fate of the substituted protein in differentiating keratinocytes and skin.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

We have previously shown how specific genetic alterations implicated in cancer (over-expression of human telomerase, inactivation of p53 and p16 tumour suppressors, constitutive activation of receptor tyrosine kinases, RTKs, abrogation of cell adhesion by functional inactivation of E-cadherin) alter epithelial cell life-span, growth, cell:cell adhesion and responses to death signals. Unravelling the influence of these changes in epithelial cell behaviour at the molecular level, and studying the role of cancer-driving signalling pathways such as those triggered by RTKs, Wnt/beta-catenin and p63 family proteins, will a) help us improve our understanding of the process of carcinogenesis, b) allow better disease prognosis and c) permit the design of tailored, patient-specific therapies.

Funding

Prospective students who have secured government sponsorships/scholarships are welcome to apply as are self-funded applicants. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,500 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

A main theme of our research is to understand the precise cell signalling mechanisms that dictate epithelial cell behaviour and fate, ranging from cell proliferation / growth, molecular and functional specialisation (cytodifferentiation), to induction of cell death (e.g. apoptosis). Our aim is to understand how these processes are inappropriately regulated in pathological conditions / disease. More specifically, our skin-related research involves using physiologically relevant biological models to explore, at the cellular and molecular level, the underlying mechanisms of a) defective wound healing and b) chemotherapy-induced alopecia. This will permit the improvement of existing medical devices to a) improve wound healing in the clinic, and b) reduce chemotherapy induced hair loss, one of the most distressing side effects of cancer chemotherapy), as well as the design of novel technologies with the aim to provide improved relevant therapeutic intervention strategies. For these projects we have major industrial collaborations with a) Avita Medical (http://www.avitamedical.com) and b) Paxman (http://paxman-coolers.com).

Funding

Prospective students who have secured government sponsorships/scholarships are welcome to apply as are self-funding applicants. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £12,500 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our experts’ which features profiles of all our academic staff.

You should enter the project title and supervisor in the online application form.

No research proposal is necessary in your application.

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Find out more about our research staff and centres

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Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes to aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students' benefit. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to. lations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.