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Differential expression patterns and transport characteristics of aged cells

Ageing is associated with a number of diseases and manifests itself at the organ level (e.g. the morphological changes in the skin) as well as cellular level. Cellular function is dependent on correct delivery of proteins to their destinations, which is especially apparent in the ageing brain where axonal and dendritic transport is impaired. The underlying causes of this impairment most likely are due to changes to intracellular organelles, which are processing the proteins for secretion, i.e. the Golgi apparatus. Fragmentation of the Golgi has been implicated in functional and structural impairments of axons, presynaptic terminals and postsynaptic dendritic spines, which have been observed in neurodegenerative diseases and ageing.

The project aims to analyse key components of the intracellular trafficking machinery in aged cells to identify alterations associated with ageing. Special attention will be given to the analysis of protein lipid modifications in aged cells with the long-term aim of finding intervention possibilities. We have evidence that budding of transport vesicles from the Golgi apparatus in aged cells is altered and will use advanced imaging techniques to establish Golgi transport kinetics in control and aged cells in addition to biochemical Golgi transport assays. Furthermore, we have a system established in our laboratory to purify intracellular organelles and transport vesicles. We will use these purified fractions to analyse alterations in protein modifications by nano liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (Nano LC-MS/MS).

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you would be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

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This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Gudrun Stenbeck - Qualifications: -
  • 1993: PhD in Chemical Technology/Biochemistry, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
  • 1989: German equivalent of BS/MS degree in Chemical Technology, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany