University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Cambridge/MedImmune PhD Studentship - Cell biology and the actin cytoskeleton

An innovative, competitively funded PhD programme has been established between the University of Cambridge and MedImmune. Applications are invited for the October 2018 intake for a studentship hosted at the Gurdon Institute, MedImmune and Department of Biochemistry. This is a 3 year fully-funded studentship with an additional 4th year of stipend if required. The collaboration with MedImmune is a key feature of this project, giving the student insight into the drug discovery process in a commercial setting. The first year will involve a placement at MedImmune of at least 3 months with further work determined by the needs of the project.

Project details: Cell biology and the actin cytoskeleton

The actin cytoskeleton interfaces with many processes in cell biology, from cell shape and protrusions to membrane traffic. This means that where and when the assembly of actin filaments gives rise to a larger actin assembly that achieves a particular cell biological role is highly regulated by many different proteins. This project seeks to determine the proteins that are involved in making filopodia-like structures, which resemble filopodia, finger-like protrusions from cells. Filopodia-like structures can be made in a cell-free format using cytosolic extracts and artificial membranes (Science 329:1341, 2010). This cell-free system means that antibody technology can be used to target the proteins involved. The aims of the project are to characterise antibodies that affect the formation of filopodia-like structures, identify their target antigens and find out how they are used in filopodia formation in cells.

About the Gurdon Institute and Department of Biochemistry

This project is based in the Gallop Lab within the Gallop Lab is based in the Gurdon Institute which benefits from core funding from the Wellcome Trust and state-of-art laboratories in the centre of Cambridge. The student will be registered within the Department of Biochemistry which offers a highly supportive environment with Graduate Thesis Panels to advise on your project. Vibrant programs of seminars, retreats and events tailored to personal training and development are an integral part of work and study.

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 diseases, and oncology, 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.

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, or Cell Biology). Additional qualifications/experience (e.g. at MSc/MPhil level) in a cognate area would be an advantage but not essential. Further information on the MedImmune programme:

Candidates are encouraged to contact the supervisors for any informal enquiries:

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 the Cambridge Graduate Admissions Office applicant portal selecting course details MDMDMI22 MedImmune@Medicine.

The deadline for applications is 30th November 2017.

Interviews: late January 2018, date to be confirmed.

Please quote reference PH13825 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.