Entry requirements

Applicants must hold, or expect to obtain, a first-class or upper second-class degree in the physical sciences, or will have obtained more than 50% of their course credits from physical sciences modules, from a recognised academic institution. 

These studentships are restricted to "UK students". Non-UK and non-EU students are welcome to apply if they are able to self-fund the four-year programme. 

  • UK students are defined as having the settled status in the UK (no restrictions on how long they can stay), and having been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, as well as, for non-EU nationals, not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education
  • Exception: we do have a small studentship proportion for EU nationals that have not been ordinarily residing in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, however, these are extremely competitive and once filled, you may be turned down based on your fee status (EU fee status)

Currently Available Studentships at the ICB CDT

6 | Predictive modeling of ICAM-1 repression by Erg; Designing therapeutic Erg mimetics using computational modelling

This 4 year fully funded studentship is part of the Institute of Chemical Biology Centre for Doctoral Training and co-funded by the British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence.

Studentship 6 | Predictive modeling of ICAM-1 repression by Erg; Designing therapeutic Erg mimetics using computational modelling

Endothelial cells (EC) lining blood vessels play an important role in health and disease by regulating key vascular functions, including permeability, hemostasis/thrombosis, inflammation and angiogenesis. The ETS transcription factor, Erg, is highly expressed in endothelial cells, and functions as a ‘master-regulator’ of endothelial homeostasis. Erg acts as both an activator and repressor of homeostatic and proÔÇÉinflammatory genes, respectively. In healthy endothelium, Erg represses expression of pro-inflammatory genes. A unique mechanism has been identified whereby Erg represses ICAM-1 activation by preventing the transcription factor NFκB-p65 binding to the ICAM-1 promoter. Notably, Erg’s expression is lost in activated endothelium over human coronary atherosclerotic plaques. Thus Erg represents a promising target to restore endothelial homeostasis and prevent vascular disease. The complexity of transcription factor signaling has meant they are traditionally considered too difficult to target therapeutically. Preliminary studies using state-of-the-art molecular dynamics simulations  have been performed in our group to generate a model of Erg protein structure. In this project, we aim to take these studies forward and model molecular interactions  to validate binding motifs within the promoter of ICAM-1 for Erg and NF-κB-p65. Furthermore, Erg isoforms and a putative Erg inhibitor, YK-4-279, will be used in silico, and in cellular in vitro models to validate our findings. This multi-disciplinary project aims to unveil the molecular interactions between Erg, NFκB-p65 and the ICAM-1 promoter to identify key structural and conformational determinants, providing us with the tools to design selective Erg compounds.

Dr Ian Gould | Prof Anna Randi

 

How to apply

You may want to first explore the 'Guidance on how to apply' section, which explains the process of applying to Imperial College. Thereafter, please apply for these studentships via the 'apply online now' button which will take you to the official Imperial College application site. 

Select the F1ICB programme in the Postgraduate Programme Search - Chemical Biology: Multi-Disciplinary Physical Scientists (1plus3) (MRes 1YFT + PhD 3YFT)|F1ICB|1|SK|FT|CN)

Please clearly indicate in the Supporting Document section and Personal Statement, which studentship (or several) you are applying to.