PhD Studentship: Regulation of protein translation in viruses

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Nottingham, SCOTLAND
Deadline: 16 Dec 2022

Closing Date
Friday, 16th December 2022
Veterinary Medicine & Science

Principal supervisor: Dr Aditi Borkar

Other supervisors: Prof Janet Daly, Dr David Scott

Background: The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (SVMS) undertakes research on many key aspects of companion animals and livestock health and production. Research at the School is integrated into the University structure with established world class research in biomedical sciences within the other University Schools.  Research undertaken at the School is relevant to both Veterinary Medicine and Science and Comparative and Human Medicine.

Project description: Viruses are obligate parasites and depend upon the host cell machinery to propagate their own life cycle. One such mechanism involves highly structured regions in the 5’-untranslated region (UTR) of viral mRNAs that protects them from degradation in the cell and also regulates the translation of viral proteins. However, very little is known about the exact mechanism of regulation by 5’-UTRs and their role in promoting host-pathogen interactions for efficient viral protein translation. 

Through this PhD studentship, we will elucidate the structural basis of 5’-UTR mediated regulation of protein translation in RNA viruses, including Influenza, HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and Zika. The proposed study involves working at the interface of experimental and computational techniques and involves interdisciplinary training through in silico (computational modelling), in vitro (biochemistry and biophysics) and in vivo (cell biology and virology) experiments.

Outputs derived from the studentship will also be used for development of novel anti-viral therapeutics with our project partners at School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham. 

Further information and Application

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate degree or a minimum of a 2.2 degree and a Master’s degree in Life Science, Biotechnology, Animal Science, Veterinary Science or similar subjects. 

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the principal supervisor: Dr Aditi Borkar,  

Candidates should apply online and include a CV.  When completing the online application form, please select the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, then PhD eg. PhD Veterinary Medicine and Science (36m) and, once submitted, send your application ID number to

Any queries regarding the application process should be addressed to the Continuing Education Team, (email:

Interview Date: 

November 2022

Start Date: 

February 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter

Closing date

The position will be filled when suitable candidates have been identified. Early application is strongly encouraged.

Eligibility for Funding

This studentship is open to self-funded applicants only. If needed, please contact Dr Aditi Borkar, for possibility of applying to student-led independent scholarships for this project. International fees apply for non-UK students.

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