Targeting the infectious potential of prion and prion-like pathogens (fully funded for UK/EU candidates)

A PhD Graduate Teaching Assistantship is available funded by the University of Kent for a project led by Dr Wei-Feng Xue (Kent Biosciences) in collaboration with Dr Christopher Serpell (Physical Sciences) and Prof. Mick Tuite (Biosciences).

How can we combat amyloid protein aggregation that is associated with a number of devastating human disorders, for example Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), type 2 diabetes, and prion diseases such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs)? This project will develop a new cross-disciplinary method, involving a supramolecular chemical biology approach, for control and inhibition of prion and prion-like amyloid growth and propagation.

The student will employ templation methods taken from supramolecular and polymer chemistry to influence the length and structure of amyloid aggregates, and then study the effect of these structural modifications in cells. This will involve diverse cross-disciplinary training starting with organic synthesis, and moving through supramolecular chemistry, protein expression and modification, spectroscopic and microscopy-based biophysical characterisation methods, and cellular analysis.

The post is open to non-UK/EU students, but they will have to cover the difference in fees. To apply, or for further information, follow this link. For more information contact Dr Serpell (C.J.Serpell@kent.ac.uk) or Dr Wei-Feng Xue (W.F.Xue@kent.ac.uk)