Skip to main content

Unravelling interkingdom signalling using chemical probes


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Dr Megan Wright
School of Chemistry
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

We are a chemical biology group who apply chemical tools to understand biological mechanism in health and disease. This proposal is representative of the projects currently on offer in our group. We welcome applicants from both a chemistry or biochemistry background. <br /> <br /> In the group we are developing chemical tools to study small molecule-protein interactions in a wide variety of biological systems. We are interested in mapping ligand binding sites on receptors, profiling protein post-translational modifications, and identifying the protein targets of bioactive compounds. One approach we use is to synthesise functional probes that are weaponised with reactive tags to covalently label proteins, and that are also equipped with clickable tags to capture probe-protein complexes for further analysis. Click chemistry is very versatile and can be used to attach different chemical groups for imaging or identification of proteins by mass spectrometry.<br /> <br /> In this project you will synthesise and apply chemical tools to understand the mode of action of small molecules involved in host-microbe communications. The human microbiota - the collection of microbes living in or on our bodies - is intrinsically linked with health and implicated in a wide range of diseases from diabetes to cancer. There is increasing evidence that bacterial and human cells listen in on each others communications, but only a fraction of these interactions is characterised. For example, bacteria respond to human signalling molecules such as hormones, peptides, lipids and steroids; many of the molecular mechanisms underlying these are unknown.<br /> <br /> In this project you will construct novel chemical tools and platforms to study such interkingdom signalling. Over the course of the project you will receive training in organic synthesis, cell biology, biochemical techniques and mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>For more details of active research projects, please visit our webpage at: <a href=""></a></p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Chemistry FT</strong></em> and&nbsp;in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Unravelling interkingdom signalling using chemical probes</strong></em>&nbsp;as well as <a href="">Dr Megan Wright&nbsp;</a>as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants (open from October 2023). <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> &ndash;The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (open from October 2023). The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <strong>not </strong>covered under these studentships.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions: e:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="">maps.pgr.admissions</a><a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Megan Wright: e:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>