Molecular mechanisms of how human DNA damage response controls the pathway choice of DNA repair


Dr Qian Wu

Project description

Life is full of decisions! One of the biggest decisions cells need to make is how to deal with DNA damage. We study DNA-double strand breaks (DSBs), which are the most toxic type of DNA damage in cells. We want to understand how different proteins assemble at the sites of DNA damage, and how this allows cells to decide between different repair pathways. To achieve this goal, we combine cutting-edge techniques such as cryo-EM to visualize their structures and characterize their functions. This study will expand our fundamental understanding of pathway choice in DNA repair at a molecular level in healthy cells, but the long-term applications of this knowledge will be to understand how these decisions go wrong in cancer cells. Ultimately, we want to exploit these differences to develop drugs that can kill cancer cells specifically.


We are looking for an ambitious and enthusiastic student to join our research group. Successful PhD candidate will become an expert in protein purification, complex reconstitution, biochemical/biophysical characterisation and structural determination using cryo-EM.

Entry requirements

Candidates should have, or be expecting, a 2.1 hons at Undergraduate level or above, in a relevant subject. If English is not your first language, you will need a recognised English Language qualification to be admitted onto any of the University's degree programmes:

How to apply

Please apply online

Please include supervisor name and project title.  A research proposal is not required.  Please upload a CV and transcripts.

How to apply (email)

How to apply (phone)

+44 (0)113 343 8186