PhD Studentship, molecular neuroscience, University of London

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The ataxia protein sacsin: localisation and identification of novel interacting partners Barts and the London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry

Supervisor: Dr Paul Chapple - Centre for Endocrinology, William Harvey Research Institute

Co-Supervisor: Dr Greg Michael - Centre for Neuroscience, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science

A graduate with an interest in molecular neuroscience with at least an upper second class BSc(Hons) or a lower second class BSc(Hons) with an MSc is required for this project.

The aim of this project is to elucidate why mutations in sacsin, a large multi-domain protein, cause neurodegenerative disease.

There are a number of regions of homology between sacsin’s predicted amino acid sequence and proteins of known function.

Of particular interest is homology to molecular chaperone proteins. Numerous neurodegenerative diseases, including ataxias, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease, are characterised by aberrant protein folding.

Molecular chaperones are important in these disorders as they play an important role in the cellular response to aberrantly folded proteins.

This PhD studentship will investigate the function of sacsin by defining its cellular localisation and identifying proteins with which it interacts.

These studies will involve a range of neuroanatomical and molecular cell biology techniques including confocal microscopy and yeast genetic screens.

The student will be based in the Centre for Endocrinology which is located in new offices and laboratories within the John Vane Science Centre, Charterhouse Square, London.

They will also use facilities in the Centre for Neuroscience which is located in the Blizard building at the School’s Whitechapel campus.

The student will have access to a wide variety of cutting-edge technologies and core facilities, as well as interaction with researchers across many areas of biomedicine.

For an informal discussion, please contact the lead project supervisor:

Dr Paul Chapple - Email:

To apply, please download the School of Medicine & Dentistry application form from our website: and return to Helena Tkalez - email: with a copy to the lead project supervisor.

This studentship is funded by the Royal London & St Bartholomew’s Charitable Foundation and comes with a tax free stipend of £14350.00 per annum.

Home/EU tuition fees will be paid by the Charitable Foundation. Non EU applicants will have to fund the difference between home and overseas tuition fees themselves, approximately £8000.00 per annum for a minimum of three years.

Scholarship 2017/18

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