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Research Associate, Manipulating Protein SUMOylation for Neuroprotection in Parkinson’s Disease

University of Bristol - Department of Biochemistry

Bristol, United Kingdom

We are seeking a skilled Research Associate to join a research team working on manipulating protein SUMOylation for neuroprotection in Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) causes the progressive loss of neurons that produce dopamine in the motor-control centre of the brain, leading to muscular rigidity, slow movement and tremor. Many lines of evidence suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role in PD pathogenesis.

Building on preliminary data, we aim to define the roles of SUMOylation in PD. In particular, we will focus on SUMOylation of Drp1 and Mff, two proteins that control mitochondrial fission and fragmentation. Our working hypothesis is that inadequate or dysfunctional SUMOylation of these proteins is a causal factor in apoptotic pathways in PD. Therefore, targeting their SUMOylation could prevent or reduce cell death. To test this hypothesis we will use molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and imaging techniques in a range of experimental systems, including post mortem human brain and cultured rat neurons.

The successful candidate should have a PhD in a relevant discipline and directly relevant experience in molecular and cellular neuroscience, biochemical techniques immunocytochemistry and microscopy. Previous work on mitochondria would be an advantage. The successful candidate will have evidence of initiative in formulating and driving forward their own project and excellent organisational, management and interpersonal skills.

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