The metabolite interactions of mitochondrial Uncoupling Protein-1 in regulating brown fat energy expenditure (CRICHTON_U22DTP)
This is an exciting and timely opportunity to study Uncoupling Protein 1 (UCP1), the mitochondrial membrane protein that allows brown adipose tissue, popularised as ‘good fat’, to burn off calories as heat. The protein helps mammals fight cold temperatures, and can contribute to energy expenditure in humans to maintain metabolic health.
The molecular processes on how UCP1 is activated is not well understood. This project will focus on determining novel ligand interactions of UCP1 with various metabolites that potentially act to regulate the protein, taking advantage of recent advances that we have made on the molecular nature of UCP1. The successful candidate will be trained in an array of biochemical and molecular biology techniques to study isolated membrane protein (e.g. cloning, recombinant protein expression, membrane protein purification, liposome reconstitution assays, protein conformation analysis and novel ligand-binding thermostability shift assessment methods). The project will also include methods to assess UCP1 activity in cultured mammalian cells (e.g. respirometric measurements, genetic manipulations) to consolidate key findings on UCP1 regulation and energy metabolism. Supported by personal and professional development programmes, the post holder will gain a wealth of transferrable skills, which will be invaluable for scientific career progression. The appointee will be supervised by Dr Paul Crichton at the Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC), where they will benefit from state-of-art facilities and an excellent research environment provided by Norwich Medical School and the School of Biological Sciences, as well as the surrounding Norwich Research Park. They will also gain a wealth of valuable experience through exchange opportunities with the group’s national and international collaborators (e.g. the Jastroch group, Wenner Gren Institute/University of Stockholm).
The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to the UK and international candidates for entry in October 2022 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship placement (PIPS) during their study. The placement offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.
This project has been shortlisted for funding by the NRPDTP programme. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Tuesday 25th January, Wednesday 26th January and Thursday 27th January 2022.
You can visit the Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership pages for further information on eligibility and the application process.
Our partners value diverse and inclusive work environments that are positive and supportive. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.