Dominant-negative regulation of SQSTM1/p62 droplet autophagy and neuro-proteotoxicity

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2021.


To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Medical Studies, then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

Before applying, please ensure you have read the Doctoral College’s general information on applying for a research degree.

For more information on the admissions process please contact

Director of Studies: Professor Shouqing Luo
Second Supervisor: Dr Vikram Sharma 

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved degradation process that is critical for clearance of intracellular aberrant components. It is implicated in various human physiological and pathological conditions, especially in neurodegenerative diseases, which are a great challenge to the modern society. It is important to understand the pathways and mechanisms to the development of the devastating diseases.

Selective autophagy degrades autophagy substrates in a selective manner through protein-protein interaction mechanisms. The PhD studentship aims to investigate protein droplet-based autophagy and its potential implication in neuro-proteotoxicity. Experiments will be performed using molecular and cell biological tools with cell lines, patient-derived IPSC-induced neurons, and other physiologically relevant models. Training will be provided for the development of both knowledge and technical skills to enable the trainee to conduct high-quality and independent scientific research in the fields of autophagy and programmed cell death.

For more information, please see our recent publications: Button RW, et al, J Biol Chem 292:13599, 2017; Yang Y, et al, Nat Commun 10:3759, 2019; Roberts et al, Hum Mol Genet 29:216, 2020; Valionyte et al, J Mol Biol 432:2673, 2020; Li et al, Nature 575:203, 2019.


Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification.

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Prof Shouqing Luo

Please refer to the list of supporting documents to upload with your application.

For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact

The closing date for applications is noon on 5 August 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview two weeks from this date. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by the end of August should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.