BBSRC MRes/Phd Studentship Redox-Dependent Molecular Mechanisms of Mitophagy

  • BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
  • Reference Code: IA061


Name of the supervisor(s)
Dr V  Korolchuk, Institute for Ageing and Health (IAH), Newcastle University
Dr E Veal, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences (ICaMB)

This studentship is sponsored by BBSRC as part of the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

Duration of the award
4-year MRes/PhD.

Project description
Degradation of mitochondria by autophagy (mitophagy) has recently emerged as an essential quality control mechanism required for cellular and organismal health and found to be perturbed in a number of age-related diseases. Among components of mitophagy machinery are PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) and the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin required for ubiquitylation of mitochondrial membrane proteins, and adapter proteins such as p62 involved in recruitment of autophagic membrane to the ubiquitin-tagged defective mitochondria. Published studies suggest that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by faulty mitochondria may act as a signal for their targeting to autophagosomes however the mechanism(s) by which ROS regulate mitophagy are not well understood. The project will investigate how recognition of defective mitochondria is regulated by ROS-dependent posttranslational modifications of mitophagy machinery.

This will involve using a wide range of methods such as gene cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, mammalian tissue culture, gene overexpression and siRNA, confocal microscopy, western blotting and immunohistochemistry. This arsenal of modern laboratory techniques used both in hypothesis-driven and unbiased exploratory studies will give the student extensive training as a molecular cell biologist.

Value of the Award and Eligibility
Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,590 (2012/13). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Person Specification
Candidates must have a first-class or upper-second-class BSc Honours degree in an appropriate scientific specialty and a Masters degree in a relevant subject.

How to Apply
You must complete the University’s postgraduate application form. Select “Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – Ageing and Health” as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number IA061.

Closing date for applications 
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Further Information
For further details, please contact:
Dr Viktor Korolchuk

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