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[ccp4bb] PhD studentship available

Dear all,

If you have any promising undergraduate or masters level students I would be grateful if you could point them to the following, funded, PhD opportunity in my laboratory. They are welcome to send me an email for an informal chat prior to an application.

"Molecular basis of C-reactive protein (CRP) binding to the lipid bilayer – a flag for complement targeting and the generation of pro-inflammatory signals in the innate immune system"


Structural studies of biological macromolecules and their interactions underpin our understanding of function and guide the development of drug interventions to combat disease. The aim of this project is to define the structural detail of the interaction of the pentameric human acute phase C-reactive protein (CRP) with compromised lipid bilayers. This targets the innate immune system to resolve tissue damage, but also produces a monomeric variant of CRP that generates pro-inflammatory signals. The PhD project student will express and purify native and mutated forms of CRP from tissue culture cells, and crystallise the proteins in cubic lipid phase for structure analysis by X-ray diffraction methods. This will help to understand how CRP differentiates between sick and healthy cells. 

An experienced team working in the biophysics and crystallography of CRP will supervise the student. There will be opportunities to work at the Membrane Protein Laboratory (Harwell) and collect X-ray diffraction data at a synchrotron radiation source. In addition there will be access to a large number of training resources available through the graduate school including those geared toward improving presentation skills, time-management and project organisation skills, reviewing literature, thesis writing, data analysis and statistics, 
and related training modules. 

Portsmouth is a vibrant waterfront city on the south coast of England and is within easy reach of London. The city is compact and friendly with the university at its heart. More information about living in the city and working at the university can be seen here: http://www.port.ac.uk/virtualtour/

Funding Notes

Home/EU applicants only. Please use the online application form and state the project code (BIOL2900217) and studentship title in the personal statement section. 

Funds will be provided for 3 or 4 years which will include: bursary (at current RCUK rates), University fees (UK/EU rate).