PhD project in Pharmacognosy
Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 44.000 students, 7.100 employees and a turnover of SEK 7 billion.
The department of Medicinal Chemistry conducts research and teaching in the field of drug discovery. The department has a total of about 85 employees.
The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the toxic action of alpha-nemertides, peptide toxins found in marine ribbon worms. The PhD student will study the molecular level interactions of alpha-nemertides with target receptors in parallel with evaluation of their effects in vivo in a selection of target pests. The work involves synthesis, folding and purification of peptide mutants, which will be analyzed in selected bioassays. Structure-activity relationships will be studied both on receptor and organism level. Other techniques that will be involved includes LC-MS, LC-MS/MS, next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques. Depending on outcome of discovery efforts, 2D-NMR and molecular modeling techniques may be employed.
The results of the project will provide a more precise understanding of the mechanisms of action and activity profile of alpha-nemertides, and clarify the potential practical utility of these peptides as pesticides and antiparasitic agents. The results will also contribute to the ongoing exploration of nemertean toxins, and their biological roles.
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