The MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU) situated in the School of Life Sciences, in the University of Dundee is world-famous for its work on cell signaling in a wide range of cellular processes, and in human diseases. Over the years we’ve made many breakthroughs, which have garnered attention around the globe and in the media. We have several drug discovery programmes in the pipeline to develop new drugs to combat cancer, diabetes, inflammation and hypertension, and we have strong links with the clinic and with the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies.
One of our missions is to train the research leaders of tomorrow, and we’re looking for very bright and enthusiastic young people to join our PhD programme. Please take time to read interviews with some of our former PhD students on our Alumini Intervew page
The interviews are so different but all have one thing in common - that they say they wouldn't be where they are now without their time at PPU and all say one of the best things about being there was that it was like a family in that they could always find help with their research when they needed it and a friend when when they needed one too! It's clearly a good place to train.
MRC Prize Studentship
We offer two types of 4-year MRC Prize Studentships. We encourage students to take the programme with two 4.5 month rotation projects followed by the main PhD project. Students will gain considerable research experience before starting their PhD, and exposure to two different labs can be very helpful in deciding which PhD project and which lab to work in. In the second 4 year programme students just choose one lab to work in for their PhD.
We have several studentships available for the academic year starting October 2016; the stipend is £20,000 per annum tax-free, and funds will be available for you to attend at least one international conference
Why Choose Dundee?
According to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) Dundee is the No. 1 University in UK for biological sciences. The University of Dundee has been named Scottish University of the Year in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide and has been ranked No. 1 in Scotland for six years running by the Times Higher Education (THE) Student Experience Survey (2010 - 2015).
Dundee has been named ‘coolest little city in Britain’ by men’s magazine GQ There are plenty more reasons to study and live in Dundee
Why study at the MRC PPU
There are many excellent reasons to come to our Unit for a PhD but here are just 10:
- You will get a world-class training in one of the most highly respected centres for studying cell signalling in the world. Many of the world leaders in the field of cell signalling have trained here – and some of them are based here!
- Almost all of our students publish at least one first-author paper during their PhD and often more. Some of these papers have caught the attention of the world media!
- A high proportion of our students go on to run their own research labs, and many are now leaders in their fields
- The research in the MRC Unit places a lot of emphasis on understanding what goes wrong in cells to cause human diseases – this means our research is useful
- A lot of our research aims to find new drug targets for the treatment of diseases such as cancer, inflammation, diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease - so our research is even more useful!
- Through the award-winning Division of Signal Transduction Therapy created by, and annexed to, the MRC Unit we have strong links with six of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. So you will see first-hand how drug companies work
- Interaction with DSTT companies has made it easier for some of our students to make excellent careers in industry
- The MRC Unit employs dedicated teams for DNA cloning, protein production and antibody production. This means that although you will learn these techniques at the beginning, you won't have to do these routinely during your PhD. This will allow more time for the exciting parts of research!
- Our Director, Prof. Dario Alessi and the previous Director Sir Philip Cohen are two of the most highly cited scientists in the world
- According to the QS Rankings of the top universities in the world, Dundee is one of the top ten Universities (fourth year running) in the world for Biological Sciences research assessed by citations per paper.