PhD project

Mapping mitochondrial signalling pathways in neurodegeneration

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Application deadline

31 January 2023

Our laboratory has dissected the function of two Parkinson’s disease-linked genes encoding the protein kinase, PINK1 and ubiquitin E3 ligase, Parkin, that has illuminated a highly conserved mitochondrial quality control pathway found in nearly every cell type including brain cells. Mitochondrial damage-induced activation of PINK1 stimulates phosphorylation-dependent activation of Parkin and ubiquitin-dependent elimination of mitochondria by autophagy (mitophagy).

In ongoing studies, we are investigating the key regulators of PINK1 and Parkin function using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry technologies combined with Cas9/CRISPR technologies to genetically knockout genes in somatic cell lines. We are also investigating the molecular mechanism of how PINK1 is activated. We have recently generated highly sensitive PINK1 monoclonal antibodies and wish to utilize these together with mass spectrometry methodologies to determine physiological binding partners of endogenous PINK1. Our lab also studies signalling in PD relevant cells including primary neuron cultures. 

The overall aim of the project is to uncover new mechanisms for how PINK1 activation induces mitophagy and the student will be trained in a variety of biochemical, CRISPR, and mass spectrometry methods towards addressing this question.

How to apply

In order to be eligible for these awards applicants must:

Be a Chinese national
Meet the requirements of the CSC – please see their website  
Have completed bachelors or masters degree before the agreed start of PhD study.
For further information on the CSC programme please visit   

Apply now


Principal supervisor

Second supervisor


PhD funding

The Chinese Scholarship Council provides opportunities for Chinese Students to undertake a PhD programme in any research field at the School of Life Sciences and the School of Science and Engineering. Successful applicants will receive support to enter the China Scholarship Council (CSC) competition scheme.

Funding eligibility: China