Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Research Opportunities

  • Details of funding opportunities will be advertised on this page when they become available, or look at research opportunities across the whole university.


  • Oxford Brookes University

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

    3.5 year, full-time PhD iCASE studentship
    Project title: Baculovirus P10 and microtubules; the role of P10 in virus-induced nuclear lysis with possible applications for novel anti-cancer therapies

    Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in the UK/EU

    Closing date: 20 March 2020

    Start date: September 2020

    Bursary p.a.: Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees (2019/20 bursary rate is £15,009)

    University fees and bench fees at the Home/EU rate will be met by the industrial sponsor, Oxford Expression Technologies Ltd, for the 3.5 years of the Studentship.

    Supervisors: Prof Linda King, Dr Victor Bolanos-Garcia and Dr Adam Chambers

    Project:

    Baculoviruses are insect-specific viruses that have a fascinating, two-phase replication cycle that in phase one results in the release of budded virus to spread the infection between cells whether in insect larvae or in cultured insect cells. In phase 2, virus particles remain in the nucleus where they become embedded in a proteinaceous matrix to form polyhedra. Polyhedra are released from nuclei following nuclear lysis or disintegration and serve to protect virus particles during horizontal transmission between larvae.

    This project aims to (1) understand the mechanisms involved in baculovirus-induced nuclear lysis to release polyhedra-containing virus particles; (2) investigate the role of cellular microtubules and viral protein P10 in this process through molecular, structural biology and microscopy techniques; and (3) investigate the possibility that by disrupting microtubules, P10 could be developed as a novel anti-mitotic therapeutic in cancer cells. The project would ideally suit an outstanding graduate with a strong interest in the study of virus-host interactions and/or molecular mechanisms of cell division regulation. Training and experience will be provided in a range of modern bioscience techniques including cell culture, virology, molecular biology, structural biology and microscopy

    We are seeking a motivated and talented student to join our multi-disciplinary team working in an excellent research environment in modern well-equipped laboratories, which is in collaboration with Oxford Expression Technologies Ltd (OET), a small biotech company conveniently located within Oxford Brookes Bioinnovation Hub.

    For further information contact Prof Linda King: laking@brookes.ac.uk or Dr Victor Bolanos-Garcia: vbolanos-garcia@brookes.ac.uk

    Requirements:
    Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification in Biological Sciences or a related discipline. Some experience in lab-based experimental design, execution and analysis is essential. EU applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre

    How to apply:
    Applications should be sent to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk and should include the following form
    (http://www.hls.brookes.ac.uk/images/research/phd-studentship-application-form-jan-14.doc)

    Oxford Brookes University

    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (Department of Biomedical and Medical Sciences) and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Department of Social Sciences)

    3 Year, full-time Interdisciplinary PhD studentship

    Project title: Genomics and population genetics of the only venomous primate – the slow loris

    Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Closing date: 31 March 2020

    Start date: September 2020

    Bursary p.a.: Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees (2019/20 bursary rate is £15,009)

    University fees and bench fees at the Home/EU rate will be met by the University for the 3 years of the Studentship.

    Supervisors include: Dr Ravinder Kanda, Professor Anna Nekaris


    Project:

    Lorises (along with the other Strepsirrhini - lemurs and bushbabies) are amongst the most basal primates. All species of slow loris are globally threatened on the IUCN Red List and are characterised by a suite of unique morphological characteristics, including that they are one of the few known venomous mammals. Little is known about the genome of this unusual primate, and while most interest in primate evolution has focused on the great apes and monkeys, there is growing interest in understanding the evolutionary history of strepsirrhines. Our main aim in this project is to assemble a whole genome of the slow loris, and explore questions relating to transposable element content in strepsirrhines (transposable elements make up a large proportion of primate genomes). Additionally, we will incorporate analyses relating to the population genetics and dynamics of Javan slow lorises, a population of which we have been studying in the wild since 2011. Using a RAD sequencing and population genetic approach, we will investigate the levels of genetic diversity in this species (both within and between populations).

    In this project we will provide training at the nexus of bioinformatics and evolutionary biology. The student will develop skills in bioinformatics, evolutionary/molecular biology and population genetic. There is also the opportunity for the student to spend some time in a biomolecular lab in Indonesia.

     

    For further information please contact Dr Ravinder Kanda (rkanda@brookes.ac.uk) or Prof Anna Nekaris (anekaris@brookes.ac.uk).

     

    Requirements:

    We seek an enthusiastic student with an interest in genomics as well as primate evolution and ecology. A large component of this project will be computational - prospective applicants should either have a computational UG degree with some experience of molecular/evolutionary genetics, or a molecular biology/genetics UG degree, with some experience of bioinformatics (familiarity with Perl, R, Linux).

    Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification. EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre.


    How to apply:
    Applications should be sent to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk and should include the following application form
    (http://www.hls.brookes.ac.uk/images/research/phd-studentship-application-form-jan-14.doc).

    If you wish to apply to the DTP via Oxford Brookes University please complete the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences PhD Research Studentship Application Form.

    Application and CV must be emailed to the addresses shown on the application form.

    The Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) programme is a 4-year DPhil*/PhD programme that aims to equip a new generation of researchers with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle the most important challenges in bioscience research.

    We provide an innovative, individually-tailored training programme that includes taught courses in interdisciplinary skills and the opportunity for students to undertake two exploratory research projects with prospective supervisors in their first year before choosing their main 3-year research project. Students also undertake a 12-week professional internship to gain direct experience of the areas of work into which they can apply their skills.

    Oxford Brookes University is offering a place on the BBSRC funded DTP within the Department of Biological & Medical Sciences in the areas of plant cell biology, virology, insect and spider development, mammalian cell biology, molecular biology, metabolic modelling/systems biology, parasitology and bioimaging. The successful candidate will enjoy access to our state of the art facilities, including newly refurbished laboratories and bioimaging suite.

    In addition to their choice of PhD project at Oxford Brookes University, the student will be able to undertake their exploratory research projects at any of the seven world-class research institutions that make up the DTP:

    The programme is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) with additional support from within the Partnership. Please see below for potential supervisors and instructions on how to apply.

    We have many projects available which can be taken as a short term (3-month) rotation or a full PhD project. The following supervisors are offering exciting projects; for further information click on the link to visit their lab website.

    Alison Forhead - Endocrine regulation during fetal growth

    Alistair McGregor - Evolution of animal development and morphology

    Andy Jones - Functional studies of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Barbara Jennings - Investigating the mechanism of Groucho-mediated repression

    Casper Breuker - Butterfly Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    Maria Santos-Nunes - Phenotypic evolution and adaptation

    Dave Carter - Extracellular Vesicle biology

    David Meredith - Membrane Transporter function

    Dianne Newbury - The Genetics of Language Disorders

    Hee-Jeon Hong - Microbial genetics and antibiotic resistance

    Isabel Bermudez - Molecular Neuropharmacology

    Jack Sunter - Understanding cell morphogenesis in Leishmania

    Jon Lees - Deep Learning for protein function prediction

    Jordi Solana - The use of single-cell RNA-seq to identify stem cells

    Katja Graumann - Nuclear envelope in plants

    Linda King - Molecular Virology

    Maike Kittelmann - Synapse formation in neurons

    Mark Poolman - Cell systems modelling

    Ravinder Kanda - The Role of Endogenous Retroviruses in Immunity

    Ryan Pink - Cell signalling

    Saad Arif - Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics

    Sue Vaughan - Cell Biology of Trypanosomes

    Verena Kriechbaumer - Endoplasmic reticulum structure and function


    Deadline for receipt of applications for the first round is 12 noon on 24 January 2020.

    Eligibility criteria: Only open to UK applicants (who must be resident in UK)

    Start date: September/October 2020

    The Bursary is approximately £15,609 for academic year 2020/2021

    Applicants require a good Honours degree level equivalent to a UK degree BSc (minimum 2.1 or higher).

    Any queries please contact:
    Prof David Carter: dcarter@brookes.ac.uk