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Postgraduate research project

Molecular mechanisms of peroxisome formation and function in human health and disease

Fully funded (UK only)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Why do cells need peroxisomes? In this project we will use a combination of molecular and cell biological techniques to understand the role that peroxisomes play in neuronal development and stress response. We will establish tools to investigate peroxisome formation and function based on the peroxisomal probes developed in the lab.

Peroxisomes are pan-eukaryotic organelles that regulate lipid and oxidative metabolism of the cell. Peroxisome dysregulation due to known mutations in peroxisomal genes causes a spectrum of incurable rare neurodegenerative conditions - Peroxisome Biogenesis Disorders (PBD). 

Despite our understanding of PBD genetics and peroxisome biogenesis (formation and function) mechanisms, PBD molecular pathology remains poorly understood. In this project we will investigate the molecular mechanisms of peroxisome formation and function, focusing on the role of peroxisomes in neuronal development. 

We will use a combination of molecular genetics and cell biology techniques to understand how human cells use peroxisomes to respond to environmental challenges and differentiation cues. In the course of this project, you will acquire skills in molecular and cell biology, including molecular cloning and mutagenesis, CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering, tissue culture of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and other mammalian cell lines, confocal imaging of cellular ultrastructure and biochemical characterization of peroxisomes.