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Fully-funded PhD studentships

Fully-funded PhD studentships October 2019 entry 

All applications should be made online via the University’s Applicant Portal. In the Studentship section of your application please enter the projects that you are applying for in order of preference. You are allowed to select up to 3. An application is only complete when all supporting documents, including the 2 academic references, are submitted. It is the applicants responsibility to ensure their referees submit their references before the closing date.

The list of available projects is shown below. Applicants can select up to a maximum of three supervisors/projects, although this is not a requirement.  Additionally, the Department requires that by the time of interview all potential students must have fulfilled the Language Requirements for admission.

Characterising animal IFIT proteins; universal inhibitors of viral protein synthesis? - Dr Trevor Sweeney and Dr Dalan Bailey 

A PhD studentship co-funded by the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge and The Pirbright Institute is available to work on a collaborative project in the laboratories of Dr Trevor Sweeney and Dr Dalan Bailey. This exciting project will investigate the role of interferon stimulated genes in regulating viral pathogens of animals. The position is available from October 2019 or as soon thereafter as the suitable candidate can start.  

The interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are a family of antiviral proteins conserved throughout all vertebrates. IFITs are cytosolic proteins, upregulated upon infection, which play a key role in combatting viral infection. In this project a detailed analysis of IFIT complex assembly and their function in various animal species will be performed. Understanding the mechanistic basis and regulation of host innate immune activities may provide new routes to protecting animal health and improve our understanding of viral pathogenesis. The candidate will be trained in molecular virology techniques and analysis of host-pathogen interactions and will be encouraged to take an active part in all aspects of research from performing experiments to giving seminars and drafting research papers for peer review and publication.

Applicants should hold or be about to achieve a First or Upper-Second (2.i) class degree in a relevant subject. 

Interviews will be held during the week commencing 11th March 2019 

Approaches to the analysis of digital images of bright field microscopy of the duodenum in the investigation of coeliac disease - Dr Liz Soilleux

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship position funded by the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, starting from 1 October 2019. 

The successful candidate will join Dr Elizabeth Soilleux's research group in Pathology and will work within an established collaborative framework with Professor Carola Schonlieb’s group in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences. He/ she will investigate approaches to the analysis of digital images of bright field microscopy of the duodenum in the investigation of coeliac disease, with the ultimate aim of developing an artificial intelligence solution for the clinical diagnosis of this biopsy type.  Applicants should have or be expecting to have an upper second honours BSc or MSc degree in mathematics, engineering, computer science and/ or biomedical science with a good understanding of statistical and neural network approaches to image analysis and experience of programming in at least one of MatLab, Python or “R”.   An understanding of biology to at least GCSE level would be an advantage, but is not essential.  The post-holder should be highly motivated, and keen to work within a multidisciplinary team.  

Applicants should hold or be about to achieve a First or Upper-Second (2.i) class degree in a relevant subject. 

Further information about the research group can be found on the group's website: https://www.path.cam.ac.uk/directory/elizabeth-soilleux 

Informal enquires may be made to Dr Elizabeth Soilleux (mail to: ejs17@cam.ac.uk

Interviews will be held during the week commencing 11th March 2019 

 

Investigate the mechanism by which vaccina virus exploits microtubules to transport new virions to the cell periphery - Professor Geoff Smith

A PhD studentship is available to work in Professor G L Smith’s laboratory to investigate the mechanism by which vaccinia virus exploits microtubules to transport new virions to the cell periphery. The position is available from October 2019 or as soon thereafter as the suitable candidate can start. 

Applicants should have a 1st or upper second class degree in biological or medical sciences and preferably some experience of working in a research environment. Additionally, the Department requires that by the time of interview all potential students must have fulfilled the Language Requirements for admission.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance. 

General queries regarding these positions should be directed to graduate.studies@path.cam.ac.uk or 01223 333940.

Project details 

Vaccinia virus is the live vaccine that was used to eradicate smallpox. After smallpox eradication, VACV has been exploited to build vaccines against other diseases and continues to be studied to better understand virus interactions with the host cell and the immune system. This project will study how vaccinia virus exploits the kinesin-1 motor to transport newly synthesised virus particles on microtubules to the cell periphery. Specifically, the project with study the functions of the virus proteins A36, F12 and E2 in this process and the cellular proteins to which they bind, such as kinesin light chains 1 and 2. 

References 

Doceul, V., Hollinshead, M., van der Linden, L. & Smith, G.L. (2010). Repulsion of superinfecting virions: a mechanism for rapid virus spread. Science, 327, 873-7. 

Carpentier, D.C.J., Gao, W.N.D., Ewles, H., Morgan, G.W. & Smith, G.L. (2015). Vaccinia virus protein complex F12/E2 interacts with kinesin light chain isoform 2 to engage the kinesin-1 motor complex. PLoS Pathogens. 11, e1004723. 

Gao, W.N.D., Carpentier, D.C.J., Ewles, H.A., Lee, S.-A. & Smith, G.L. (2017). Vaccinia virus proteins A36 and F12/E2 show strong preferences for different kinesin light chain isoforms. Traffic 18, 505-18. 

Carpentier, D.C.J., Van Loggerenberg, A., Dieckmann, N.M.G. & Smith, G.L. (2017). Vaccinia virus egress mediated by protein A36 is reliant on the F12 protein. J. Gen. Virol. 98, 1500-14. 

 

Characterization of the roles of PP1 phosphatases in cytokinesis - Dr Paolo D'Avino 

All biological processes are controlled and executed by proteins, whose function is regulated in space and time by post-translational modification (PTMs). Reversible PTMs, such as phosphorylation, are essential for the proper activity of many signalling pathways and networks that control almost every cellular and developmental process. Unsurprisingly, de-regulation of phosphorylation signalling pathways has been associated with many human disease, including cancer. Cell division represents an ideal system to study phosphorylation because gene transcription is severely limited by the inaccessibility of DNA. The identity and function of mitotic kinases have been studied is some detail, but very little is known about their counteracting phosphatases. The aim of this project is to characterize the roles of PP1 phosphatases during mitosis using a multi-systems approach combining gene editing, quantitative proteomics and multi-dimensional high resolution microscopy.

For further information please read the proposal.  

General queries regarding these positions should be directed to graduate.studies@path.cam.ac.uk or 01223 333940.

Characterisation of clonal evolution of T-cell lymphoma - Prof Ming Du

It has long been assumed that malignant T-cell lymphoma is a monoclonal disease. i.e. the tumour grows and expands from a single cell.  In contrast to this traditional view, our ongoing investigations show for the first time evidence of bi- or oligo-clonal T-cell populations in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma and its related entities.   It is imperative to investigate whether each of these different clonal T-cell populations in a T-cell lymphoma is neoplastic, derived from a common progenitor cell population, and how they impact on disease presentation and treatment responses.   

For further information please read the proposal.  

General queries regarding these positions should be directed to graduate.studies@path.cam.ac.uk or 01223 333940.

Application information

All applications should be made online via the University’s Applicant Portal.

Funding* will cover the student’s stipend at the current Research Council rate and University Fees. The studentships will be funded for three years in the first instance subject to eligibility**, with the possibility of additional funding in the fourth year depending on circumstances.

**The studentships are available to students who qualify for Home/EU fees

Applications from ineligible candidates will not be considered. 

(http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blpapdpth/requirements)

Closing date:    28 February 2019. 

*The studentship is available to students who quality for Home/EU fees 

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity. 

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.