PhD Studentship – Structure, function and disease mechanisms in rhodopsin



The School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex invites applications for a three-year, full-time fully funded PhD studentship.

Rhodopsin is a highly specialized G-protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) that mediates vision under dim light conditions. It shares many structural similarities with other GPCRs and therefore serves as an excellent model to study this medically important family of cell surface receptors. The aim of this project is to determine the role of specific amino residues in folding, structure and function of rhodopsin. As part of this project, naturally occurring retinitis pigmentosa mutations in rhodopsin that result in human blindness will be examined in an attempt to elucidate mechanisms of receptor misfolding and malfunction. This project will suit a person interested in molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry of membrane proteins. This project is in collaboration with Professor Steve Smith (Stony Brooke, SUNY, USA) and ideally some time will be spent in the USA to learn state-of-the-art NMR structural methods. Funding is provided in part by the NIH (USA).    

Entry requirements and application procedures

Applications should be submitted electronically by 22 November 2013, see here for details. Additional questions and queries about the fellowship can be addressed to Philip Reeves ([email protected]).

For general information about the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex see here .

The University of Essex

The University of Essex is ranked ninth in the UK for research excellence, following the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. We offer world-class supervision and training opportunities and our research students work at the heart of an internationally-acknowledged and well-connected research community. We are also one of the world’s most internationally diverse universities, with more than one third of our 11,000 students coming from outside the UK, thus creating a diverse social and academic learning experience for all.

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