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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Investigation of novel molecular mechanisms for regulation of neuronal Calcium channels

  • Supervisor: Dr Ivan Kadurin
  • Funding: SBBS studentship
  • Deadline: 20th May 2022

The folllowing fully-funded PhD studentship is available in the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences with an expected start date of Sept 2022.

Research environment

The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences at Queen Mary is one of the UK’s elite research centres, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). We offer a multi-disciplinary research environment and have approximately 150 PhD students working on projects in the biological and psychological sciences. Our students have access to a variety of research facilities supported by experienced staff, as well as a range of student support services.

The newly established group of Dr. Ivan Kadurin investigates the structure-function relationship, interactions, and cellular trafficking of neuronal Calcium Channel proteins by focussing on novel pathways for their biological regulation. In addition to working with Dr Kadurin's group, the position also involves oveseas collaboration with Professor Riccardo Olcese (UCLA) offering opportunities for innovation and application of novel methods (Voltage - Clamp Fluorometry).

Training and development

Our PhD students become part of Queen Mary’s Doctoral College which provides training and development opportunities, advice on funding, and financial support for research. Our students also have access to a Researcher Development Programme designed to help recognise and develop key skills and attributes needed to effectively manage research, and to prepare and plan for the next stages of their career.

The PhD student will obtain training for biochemical, electrophysiology and imaging methods working with human cell lines and primary neurons. The goal is to understand the structure-function relationship, interactions, and cellular trafficking of neuronal voltage-gated calcium channel proteins, and the mechanism of action of drugs that target these channels to maintain human health and prevent disease.

Project details

Voltage – Gated Calcium (Cav) channels control vital physiological processes including neurotransmitter release, neuronal excitability, cardiac contraction, and vascular tone. Abnormal Cav channel regulation can lead to severe human diseases including neuropathic pain and cardiovascular dysfunctions and their studies can help to maintain human health and prevent disease. The project investigates the structure-function relationship, interactions, and cellular trafficking of neuronal Calcium Channel proteins by focussing on novel pathways for their biological regulation (Please see: eLife2016;5:e21143; eLife2018;7:e37507).

The student will be trained to employ range of molecular techniques from protein chemistry, molecular biology, fluorescent microscopy, and flow cytometry used for investigation of membrane protein traffic, turnover and signalling. Our group is provided with electrophysiological facility and the position offers the opportunity to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in patch – clamp electrophysiology applied to neuronal ion channel receptors. Applicants will be enthusiastic about fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms and discovery-based approaches.

The role will involve the day-to-day independent running of the project, performing a range of research tasks, preparation of manuscripts using high-quality data, make oral presentations. You will be a member of a newly established, enthusiastic team  at the Blizard Institute (Ivan Kadurin - School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences ( within a thriving community of structural and cell biology research experts of QMUL. The project includes overseas collaboration with experts in Voltage-Clamp Fluorometry technique (Riccardo Olcese; UCLA).


The studentship is funded by Queen Mary and will cover home tuition fees, and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at the Research Council rate (£17,609 in 2021/22).

Eligibility and applying

Applications are invited from outstanding candidates interested in interdisciplinary biomedical research, with or expecting to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in an area relevant to the project: biomedical sciences, neuroscience, biochemistry or a related field such as bioengineering.

A Masters degree is desirable, but not essential. Past research experience (internships or summer studentships) will be valuable. Alternately, remote data analysis can also be valuable.

Applicants from outside of the UK are required to provide evidence of their English language ability. Please see our English language requirements page for details.

Informal enquiries about the project can be sent to Dr Ivan Kadurin ( Formal applications must be submitted through our online form by the stated deadline.

The School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences is committed to promoting diversity in science; we have been awarded an Athena Swan Silver Award. We positively welcome applications from underrepresented groups. 

Apply Online


  1. Ivan Kadurin, Shehrazade Dahimene, Karen M Page, Joseph I J Ellaway, Kanchan Chaggar, Linda Troeberg, Hideaki Nagase, Annette C Dolphin, (2022) ADAM17 mediates proteolytic maturation of voltage-gated calcium channel auxiliary α2δ subunits, and enables calcium current enhancement Function, (2022);
  2. Kadurin I, Ferron L, Rothwell SW, Meyer JO, Douglas L, Bauer CS, Lana B, Alexopoulos O, Nieto-Rostro M, Pratt WS, Dolphin AC. Proteolytic maturation of α2δ is key to activation and neuronal trafficking of latent calcium channels (2016) eLife 5, e21143
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