Genetic-proteomic Analyses of P2X7 Receptors in Health and Disease
PhDs and postgraduate research
Self-funded PhD students only
School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
February and October
Applications accepted all year round
P2X7 is an ATP receptor with a number of physiological functions, which also plays a role in the development of acute and chronic diseases -- such as inflammation, cancer, bone loss and psychiatric disorders.
P2X7 is therefore an important therapeutic target, but P2X7 trimeric subunit organisation and its interacting partners (signalling and scaffolding proteins) can be highly diverse in various cells and pathologies.
Cell-specific and sub-cellular localisation of P2X7 is still controversial. Understanding these multiple modes of action and cell-specific receptor functions is essential for developing targeted and effective treatments.
The work on this project will include:
- using molecular biology and proteomic methods to identify receptor assemblies and interacting proteins
- unravelling cellular and sub-cellular localisation of this receptor using confocal and advanced X-ray microscopy
- functional analysis of of specific cells and tissues (such as bone and brain), following cell-specific ablation by Cre recombinase
Given the importance of the P2X7 receptor in health and disease, our laboratory has created a unique P2X7 knock-in/knock-out mouse.
It expresses endogenous levels of tagged P2X7 isoforms, allowing immunoaffinity purification of the tagged P2RX7 followed by mass spectrometry to identify the associated proteins (the “genetic-proteomic” approach, Bienvenu et al, 2010). These tags also allow immunodetection of specific isoforms with anti-tag antibodies in situ.
This mouse P2X7 gene is flanked by loxP sites allowing cell-specific and/or conditional knockouts by crossing this strain with specific Cre recombinase-expressing mice or by targeted expression of Cre recombinase.
This project will take functional analyses to a new level by defining the roles of P2X7 in any desired tissue or at any disease stage in vivo.
Fees and funding
Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).
2020/2021 entry (for October 2020 and February 2021 entries)
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a
International full-time students: £16,400 p/a
International part-time students: £8,200 p/a
PhD by Publication
External candidates £4,407 p/a
Members of staff £1,680 p/a*
2021/2022 entry (for October 2021 and February 2022 entries)
PhD and MPhil
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,407 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,204 p/a*
International full-time students: £17,600 p/a
International part-time students: £8,800 p/a
All fees are subject to annual increase.
PhD by Publication
External Candidates £4,407 p/a*
Members of Staff £1,720 p/a*
If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
- A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject.
- Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Make an enquiry
For administrative and admissions enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Apply
To start your application, or enquire further about the process involved, please contact Darek Gorecki on 02392 843566 (email@example.com) or Dr Gianluca Tozzi on 02392 842514 (firstname.lastname@example.org) quoting both the project code PHBM3571017 and the project title.
When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.
You can also visit our How to Apply pages to get a better understanding of how the PhD application process works.