P2X receptors are a family of ligand-gated ion channels activated by the neurotransmitter extracellular ATP (Illes et al., 2021). They are attractive drug targets for pain, inflammation, pulmonary secretion and hypertension. Some good progress has been made by our group and others in the discovery of novel P2X receptor regulators (Nadzirin et al., 2021), the molecular basis of binding (Bidula et al., 2022) and the development of P2X receptors antagonists as new medicines (Richards et al., 2019). Our knowledge of the structure of P2X receptors has advanced significantly over the past decade (Hattori & Gouaux, 2012), however our understanding of the molecular basis for binding and action of antagonists and positive allosteric modulator ligands is still limited across the P2X receptor family. This information is important for determining domains within P2X receptors that mediate the effects of drug-like ligands and can inform and refine drug discovery processes.
This project will focus on the human P2X4 receptor and its molecular interactions with ligands that antagonise and are positive allosteric modulators. The studentship will provide high quality training in receptor pharmacology, patch-clamp electrophysiology, calcium imaging, molecular modelling, mutagenesis and protein labelling techniques. This project will suit a graduate student interested in drug discovery and ion channel pharmacology.
The successful candidate will join an internationally recognised leading research group in purinergic receptor physiology and pharmacology and be supervised by Professor Samuel Fountain. The laboratory is a supportive and well-funded research environment, including pharmaceutical industry sponsored projects.
NB Applications are processed as soon as they are received and the project may be filled before the closing date, so early application is encouraged.