University of Dundee

China Scholarship Council PhD Programme: Structural and membrane biology of polarized trafficking

Membranes and their protein organization are a frontier in our understanding of cell biology. We focus on polarized trafficking as a model to uncover fundamental mechanisms in the organization of structures at membranes. We aim to understand the role of protein complexes including the exocyst. This project seeks to answer mechanistic questions regarding 1) the regulation of protein structural mechanics in polarized trafficking, 2) and the consequences of signaling on this pathway and its organization. Because signaling in polarized trafficking is directly related to both human development and disease, we position our research for the broadest impact.

We take a reconstitution and synthetic biology approach in combination with the powerful tools available for microscopy. This strategy will require combining recombinant protein techniques and biophysical membrane methods with experimental cell biology. We take aim at using structural biology to resolve protein structure on membranes. Our philosophy is to address these questions of challenging biology using quantitative methods in a hypothesis-driven approach.

We are excited to introduce this interdisciplinary research to a highly motivated and ambitious student. The student will be expected to have exemplary communication skills and an ability to collaborate. Experience in protein biochemistry is a strong advantage but not necessary. The student will emerge a master in state-of-the-art membrane and protein approaches. Interested students are welcome to contact me. For more information on work in the Murray lab please see: