FST20: Posttranslational Protein Deimination in Neonatal Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy

A current research focus of the UK medical research council is to further our understanding of the brain in health and disease and how the nervous system responds to injury. Neonatal brain injury caused by oxygen starvation in newborn babies is a leading cause of child mortality and morbidity worldwide, with surviving infants often suffering long term neurological disabilities. The only current strategy for treatment is therapeutic hypothermia, which improves survival and disability but is not always effective. Thus it is important to develop co-therapies that can be used in combination with hypothermia.  Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) are calcium activated enzymes that cause misfolding and functional changes in arginine containing target proteins. We recently described a novel role for PADs in neonatal hypoxic ischaemic brain damage and using pharmacological PAD inhibition, we were able to significantly reduce brain damage in our in vivo neonatal model. Aims: A) To further characterise the mechanism of PAD-mediated pathways in neonatal brain damage. B) To use PAD-inhibiting drugs in combination with hypothermia for increased brain protection compared to PAD inhibitor alone.

We are looking for a highly motivated and dedicated student with interest in neuroscience and protein misfolding. Laboratory experience in Western blotting, PCR/qPCR/RT-PCR and histological staining/analysis would be desirable.

The student will receive training in relevant techniques/technologies and gain expertise in a number of key project planning and analytical research and subject specific skills. The student will also take part in the University Graduate School and Faculty Doctoral Research Development Programme (DRDP) including transferable skills (eg presentation skills, scientific writing and employability skills) which aid in their future career progression. The student will also be encouraged to join relevant learned societies, which provide excellent support for students in terms of training opportunities and meetings to disseminate and publish their research.

Further enquiries

Please contact Dr Sigrun Lange, [email protected].


5pm on 10 February 2017

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Applications should be made to the Life Sciences MPhil/PhD programme and you should clearly state that you are applying for a Quintin Hogg Trust Scholarship and the Scholarship code (eg FST1) on your application.

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