This studentship is sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).
Duration of the award
Four years (MRes Biosciences followed by a three-year PhD).
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a natural product of aerobic metabolism but also encountered following exposure to irradiation, drugs or phagocytosis. The most fundamental response to H2O2 is to increase oxidative stress defences to limit oxidative damage and ensure survival. As oxidative stress-induced damage is involved in many plant and animal diseases, and associated with ageing, there is enormous agricultural and medical interest in optimising these defences. Despite the growing appreciation that H2O2 also plays a vital signalling role in regulating cell growth, survival and ageing, the mechanisms mediating these responses are largely unknown. The fundamental question the student will address is, ?How do organisms ?sense? and initiate appropriate responses to H2O2??
To answer this question this project will exploit the advantages of two powerful model systems:  The ease of genetic manipulation, range of post-genomic tools available and conservation of signalling pathways make the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe an ideal unicellular eukaryote in which to investigate responses to H2O2 (eg. Brown et al. 2013 Cell Reports, Day et al. 2012 Mol Cell).  Complementary studies in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans will allow the student to investigate how these H2O2 signalling mechanisms affect the growth, stress resistance and ageing of a whole animal (eg. Ol?hov? et al. 2008 Proc Natl Acad Sci).
By making an important contribution to our understanding of how organisms respond to H2O2, it is expected that this project will indicate new strategies to prevent age-associated diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, and also to improve the growth/environmental stress resistance of economically important yeast, plants and animals.
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 £13,726 (2013/14). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.
Candidates should have or expect to achieve a first-class or upper-second-class Honours degree in a relevant science subject.
How to apply
You must apply through the University?s online postgraduate application form selecting ‘Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) ? Cell and Molecular Biosciences? as the programme of study. Please insert the studentship/partnership reference number CB105. 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 CB105.
Closing date for applications
The post will remain open until a suitable applicant is appointed. Early application is advised.
Dr E Veal
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7596
Please click on the ‘Apply‘ button below.