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Cambridge-MedImmune PhD Programme in Biomedical Research

Cambridge-MedImmune PhD Programme in Biomedical Research

An innovative, competitively funded 3 year PhD programme has been established between the University of Cambridge and MedImmune. The programme will provide the opportunity to work at the interface of academia and industry with successful applicants undertaking a significant proportion of their research at both the University of Cambridge and at MedImmune. The programme aims to promote pre-clinical innovative translational research and to strengthen understanding of disease.

About Medimmune

MedImmune, the global biologics unit of AstraZeneca, is committed to developing better medicines that help people live healthier, longer and more satisfying lives. The company is focused on the areas of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, infection, respiratory and inflammatory disease, oncology and neuroscience, with two marketed products and a robust pipeline of promising new product candidates. MedImmune's state-of-the-art Cambridge site is home to around 600 employees, and serves as the company's European hub for research and development.

Applications are invited for the January 2018 intake for the following PhD studentship. This studentship will be split between the Department of Biochemistry, the Gurdon Institute and MedImmune. The student will split their time between sites as experiments demand it and to make the best use of the world class resources available.

Project Details
Identification of novel filopodia proteins using antibody technology

Cells control their shape and movement by forming actin-rich protrusions. Actin monomers assemble into filaments and the filaments in turn form wider assemblies such as bundles of parallel filaments. Such bundles make up filopodia, finger-like protrusions that are found on cells when they move. Filopodia are important for direction sensing, adhesive and mechanical properties of cells and are implicated in cancer metastasis and formation of the right connections between nerve cells. The project will use a cell-free system that reconstitutes filopodia formation in vitro Science 329:1341, 2010). This project has arisen from an exciting collaboration between the Gallop Laboratory and MedImmune and will be co-supervised by Dr Jenny Gallop at the University of Cambridge and Dr Claire Dobson at MedImmune. The filopodia cell-free system has allowed us to exploit the specificity and high affinity of antibody technology to study the mechanisms of filopodia formation. While intracellular events are usually impenetrable to the addition of antibodies, the cell-free format allows us to target the cytosolic proteins that are important for formation of filopodia-like structures. A collection of antibodies has arisen from a phage display phenotypic screen that alter the properties of the filopodia-like structures. This collection will be used to investigate the mechanisms of filopodia formation.

Further Information
For this studentship we are looking for candidates with an actual or anticipated 1st or 2i Class degree in a relevant undergraduate subject (e.g. Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Immunology etc). Additional qualifications/experience (e.g. at MSc/MPhil level) in a cognate area would be an advantage but not essential.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Cambridge Supervisors informally for further information about the project.

Dr Jenny Gallop ( Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge.

Dr Claire Dobson (, MedImmune Ltd., Cambridge.

How to Apply
Please note that this project is open to UK/EU applicants only.

Applications should be made on-line via selecting course details MDMDMI22 MedImmune@Medicine.

Deadline for applications: 10 September 2017. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Interviews date: TBC

Please quote reference PH12867 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

Further information