University of Dundee

Wellcome 4-Year PhD Programme in Integrated Molecular, Cellular and Translational Biology

The Wellcome Trust Integrated molecular, cellular and translational biology programme combines scientific excellence with a commitment to improving the working environment and transition support for trainees. This PhD programme, provided by world-renowned scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, will train the next generation of scientists at the forefront of international science. Students will join our supportive and positive research culture with the opportunity to select research projects centred around four themes:

  1. Cellular Regulation
  2. Protein Modification
  3. Infection and Immunity
  4. Drug Discovery and Translation

Around 50 different potential supervisors will participate in this programme

Prof Ron Hay

Specificity in the SUMO system appears to be achieved by modification of large groups of proteins by a PIAS E3 ligase mediated SUMO spray. Our aim is to define the mechanism by which PIAS E3 ligases select multiprotein complexes for modification. Proteomic identification of sites of SUMO modification and SUMO ChIPSeq analysis provide evidence that the SUMO spray functions in human induced pluripotent stem cells. Our objectives are to establish the role of the “SUMO spray” in maintaining pluripotency. We will deplete SUMO globally, at specific genomic loci and at multiprotein complexes. Changes in cell fate, histone marks, chromatin accessibility, transcriptional output and the stability of multiprotein complexes will be followed. PIAS proteins can be recruited to substrates via DNA, SUMO and specific protein interactions. We will use structural, biochemical and single molecule approaches to reveal the mechanism of SUMO spray mediated substrate modification.