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Fully funded PhD Studentship: Biochemical basis of congenital disorders of glycosylation

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Department of Life Health and Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science 
Based in Milton Keynes (The Open University) 

This three-year research studentship is fully funded by the Biomedical Research Network at The Open University and provides a maintenance grant of £13,863 per year (2014 rate) - all academic fees (at UK/EU level) are covered.

Project description: Structurally complex carbohydrates decorate the surface of biological molecules. They modulate and control numerous cellular processes, such as recognition events, cell-cell signalling and pathways inextricably linked with correct protein folding, trafficking and targeting. As a result, perturbations and defects in the pathways by which these carbohydrates are constructed, processed and degraded can have multiple and complex downstream effects. Conditions resulting from defects in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids manifest with wide-ranging clinical phenotypes and often result in severe and multi-system disease. Patients may present with multiple and diverse pathologies including cardiac myopathies, neurological disorders and myasthenic syndromes resulting from compromised neuromuscular transmission. 

This project seeks to establish cellular models of the pathophysiology of disorders resulting from defects in carbohydrate processing. Using a variety of bioanalytical, imaging and cell biology techniques, the student will investigate the underlying biochemistry of glycosylation disorders; with emphasis on how defined impairments in carbohydrate processing pathways manifest clinically. 

You should have the following qualifications: Good undergraduate degree in biochemistry, chemistry, biomedical sciences or a related discipline, with an interest in cell biology, the fundamental biochemistry of biological processes and translational medicine. As this project has a strong interdisciplinary focus, it is important that you are enthusiastic, have good communication skills and are flexible in your approach to working. 

Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to sarah.allman@open.ac.uk 

This project will be supervised by Dr Sarah Allman; http://www.open.ac.uk/people/saa438

Closing date: Friday, 24 October 2014

Contact detail

How to apply:
Please send an email/letter together with your CV, a completed application form and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date), to science-research-degrees@open.ac.uk or by post to the Research Co-ordinator, Science Deanery, K Block, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA. 

Closing date: Friday 24 October 2014. 
Shortlisting: week commencing, 27 October 2014. 
Interviews: week commencing, 10 November 2014. 

Information for applicants (including application form):

Send application to
Research Co-ordinator
Science Deanery
K Block
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

email: science-research-degrees@open.ac.uk 


Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
United Kingdom
Working place
MK7 6AA Milton Keynes
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Chemistry, Human medicine