- Type of research degree
- Application deadline
- Ongoing deadline
- Country eligibility
- International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
- Competition funded
- Additional supervisors
- Dr Sarah Harris
- School of Physics and Astronomy
Computational models are invaluable for visualisation in molecular biology, as they employ our best quantitative physical understanding of biomolecules and their interactions to predict their dynamics, which is often missing from biophysical experiments. Now that biophysical techniques are revealing highly organised supermacromolecular architectures at the length-scale directly above that of single molecules, which was invisible until very recently, there is a need for new computational tools to intepret these experiments.<br /> <br /> We are developing two lines of research in supermacromoleular biology &ndash; one for DNA, and one for proteins. While it is well known that DNA is the molecule of heredity and that the sequence of bases in DNA encodes the genetic information that defines an organism, the way in which genomes are regulated is not understood. Recent experimental data shows that the physical arrangement of DNA within the nucleus is critical to genetic control. We have developed a model system involving small DNA circles that we can analyse both by experimental methods and atomistic computer modelling using well established computer programs to understand how the packaging of DNA helps in the control and regulation of the cell, and how it influences recognition by other molecules, such as proteins and drug molecules.<br /> <br /> We are also writing our own modelling software that provides a continuum mechanics description of proteins, and which uses experimental electron microscopy data as input to the calculations. The model uses the Finite Element algorithm that we have generalised to include thermal fluctuations, known as Fluctuating Finite Element Analysis (FFEA), we are using this program to model the action of molecular motors such as myosin and dynein, and are improving our physical description of biomolecules and their interactions by adding more accurate representations of the hydrodynamic environment Our approach is highly multidisciplinary, and we can adapt projects to suit researchers with backgrounds as diverse as physics, maths, chemistry, biology and computer science. Collaborative projects including experimental work are also available.
<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the <a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees">University's website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section that the research degree you wish to be considered for is ‘Computer Simulations of Biological Macromolecules’ as well as <a href="https://www.astbury.leeds.ac.uk/people/staff/staffpage.php?StaffID=SAH">Dr Sarah Harris</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>
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.
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.
<p><strong>Self-Funding Students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong> – The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/138-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2021-january-deadline">Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (January deadline)</a> and the <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/141-henry-ellison-scholarship-2021">Henry Ellison Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a> is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> – The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/63-school-of-physics-astronomy-fee-only-scholarship">School of Physics & Astronomy Fee Only Scholarship</a> is available to support the additional academic fees of international applicants. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a> is available to nationals of China. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a> is available to support US citizens. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a> is also available to international applicants and supports those who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p>
<p>For further information please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email: <a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">m</a><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>, or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Sarah Harris by email: <a href="mailto:S.A.Harris@leeds.ac.uk">S.A.Harris@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>