An exciting opportunity for a PhD at the Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience within the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), at King’s College London.
Dr Gomez-Suaga and Dr Mizielinska have obtained funding from the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) to study the role of the dipeptide repeat proteins (DPR) in autophagy dysfunction in C9orf72-related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
ALS is clinical, pathological and genetically linked to frontotemporal dementia (FTD); both are devastating diseases for which currently no cure is available. The most common genetic cause of both of these diseases is a repeat expansion mutation in the gene C9orf72, that leads to the accumulation of dipeptide-repeat proteins (DPRs).
The PhD project will focus on the dysfunction caused by DPRs on nucleocytoplasmic transport and uniquely their impact on the autophagy pathway. Dr Mizielinska was the first to uncover specific DPR protein toxicity in C9orf72 disease pathogenesis (Science, 2014) and this PhD project is part of a larger programme within her group studying nucleocytoplasmic transport dynamics in ALS and FTD. Likewise, the student will benefit from the expertise of Dr Gomez-Suaga, MNDA Fellow, in the fields of autophagy and endomembrane trafficking. Furthermore, the student will be hosted in a multidisciplinary research institute with well-established clinical links and they will have access to overseas collaborations.
This PhD project will be conducted using molecular and cellular Biology, genetics, biochemistry and histology, and advanced microscopy techniques and stem cell technology. The successful candidate will gain insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in ALS/FTD while acquiring skills in cutting-edge methodology.
We offer a fully funded IoPPN/MNDA PhD studentship, starting on 1st February 2021. The award covers a 3-year PhD stipend (year one: £17,000; year two: £17,500; year three: £18,000) and tuition fees for UK/EU nationals, costs towards travel expenses and laboratory consumables.
Applicants should have a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree (or equivalent) in a subject relevant to the proposed project. If applicants already possess a research-based MSc degree, a merit or distinction level (or equivalent) is required.
Applicants must complete and submit an online admissions application, via the KCL admissions portal (https://myapplication.kcl.ac.uk) by midnight on 27th September 2020.
You are welcome to email Dr Gomez-Suaga at kcl.ac.uk for more information regarding the project and studentship.
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