PhD studentship

Kevin Pyke k.pyke at rhbnc.ac.uk
Thu Oct 10 09:29:52 EST 1996


SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
ROYAL HOLLOWAY COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

Division of Biochemistry

Medical Research Council PhD Studentship

THE ROLE OF UBIQUITIN IN LYMPHOCYTE ACTIVATION AND APOPTOSIS

Applications are invited for an MRC funded studentship (stipend £8,704 -
£9,567 pa plus dependants allowance) leading to the degree of PhD. 
Candidates should possess or expect to graduate with a first or upper
second class honours degree in a relevant biological sciences subject. 
Candidates must also be residents of United Kingdom or European Union.

Project

Ubiquitin is a highly conserved polypeptide involved in targeting proteins
for rapid degradation. It also acts as a heat shock protein.  Heat shock
proteins are induced by exposure of the cell to a range of stresses and
protect the cell from damage.  Our current studies show that neuronal
cultures subjected to heat shock, reduced oxygen levels or free radicals,
respond rapidly by increasing the amount of ubiquitin covalently
conjugated to cellular proteins.  The project will extend this work to the
immune system by investigating the importance of ubiquitin in lymphocyte
function, particularly during lymphocyte activation and apoptosis.  The
regulatory events underlying lymphocyte activation are critical to the
regulation of the immune response.  Apoptosis in lymphocyte populations is
an essential but poorly understood process in the control of the immune
system.

The major aim of the project is to identify individual proteins which
become conjugated to ubiquitin as a result of  lymphocyte stress,
activation or apoptosis, and to determine the effect of ubiquitination on
their cellular function.   A particular focus will be cell surface
proteins, which in the case of lymphocytes have been extensively
characterised in terms of structure, expression and function.  The
experimental programme will initially involve immunoblotting using an
existing anti-ubiquitin monoclonal antibody raised in this laboratory. 
Both freshly isolated lymphocytes and culture  lymphocyte cell lines will
be investigated.

Training

The School provides training in a wide range of leading-edge recombinant
DNA, biochemical and cell biology techniques.  Students are also provided
with the facilities to learn the advanced lab management, information
technology and presentational skills necessary for a modern career in
biomedical biochemistry and molecular cell biology.  An active assessment
programme to guide students is run involving annual reports, seminars and
meetings with supervisors and independent advisors.  Publication of
research data and attendance at national and international conferences is
expected.

Informal telephone or email enquiries to the joint supervisors Dr P W
Beesley (01784 443546; P.Beesley at rhbnc.ac.uk) and Dr Chris Rider (01784
443548; C.Rider at rhbnc.ac.uk) are encouraged.

-- 
Kevin Pyke
Royal Holloway
University of London
k.pyke at rhbnc.ac.uk



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