Connecting European Neuroscience

Ph.D. Student in Leeds/UK

16 October 2020

Ph.D. Student in Leeds/UK

Job ID


Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are specialised extracellular matrix structures on the surface of neurones. They control synapse formation and neuronal plasticity, but the underpinning biochemical and biophysical mechanisms are not well understood. Progress is hampered by the lack of tools to selectively label PNNs and visualise their organisation.

In this project, you will combine bio-conjugation techniques and advanced protein biochemistry to engineer multivalent probes that recognise specifically the glycan antigens overexpressed in PNNs. You will design and develop ‘superselective’ molecular probes that recognise PNNs whilst minimising interference by other brain extracellular matrix structures. You will also use state-of-the-art biophysical and cell biology techniques to evaluate superselective recognition of PNN-bearing model surfaces and neurones.

If successful, this project will provide a new tool to progress our fundamental understanding of neurobiology. In the future, it may also help tackle neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia.

This project is supported by a multi-disciplinary team of supervisors with expertise in all research areas relevant to this project. Applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisors for more information on this project.

Job Information

Closing date:
Employment start date:
Contract length:
4 years
University of Leeds
School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences,

Contact Information

Jessica Chi Fung Kwok
School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

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