Measurement of proton position in DNA
This project will bring together expertise in quantum biology and chemistry available at the University of Surrey with neutron crystallographic methods at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble.
Start date1 October 2020
Funding sourceLeverhulme Trust and University of Surrey
The studentship fully covers all academic fees with a stipend of £15,285 per annum for UK/EU students.
Funding for future years will be subjected to the UKRI increase.
Mutations are a cause of cancer and genetic disease as well as being the driver of drug-resistance in cancer and infectious disease. Watson and Crick proposed that these spontaneous mutations arise through tautomerization of DNA bases, involving the tunnelling of protons. However, despite a great deal of theororetical support for their model, experimental evidence is scanty, mosty because of difficulties in mapping proton position in the DNA double helix. This project will bring together expertise in quantum biology and chemistry available at the University of Surrey with neutron crystallographic methods at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble. The aim of this highly innovate, cutting-edge project will be to directly determine the protonation states in each of three major forms of DNA, A, B and Z, and to model these in the context of hydration-driven stereochemical pathways that are known to occur between them. Particular attention will be focused on changes in protonation in these different forms and possible implication of tunnelling in mediating such shifts that may be a cause of mutation.
This project will involve several months work at ILL in Grenoble.
Related linksLeverhulme Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre (QB-DTC)
Applicants must have a BSc/Masters in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biophysics or similar expertise.
UK and EU students only will be funded, overseas students will need to source their own funding.
English language requirements: IELTS overall score of 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in each component (or equivalent).
How to apply
To apply for this studentship:
- Firstly apply for the Quantum Biology PhD.
- During your application, please mention your desire to apply to this studentship in order to be considered.
- When the system asks you to add your ‘Research Project’ please copy and paste the project description of the project you wish to apply for.