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Role of Protein Phosphorylation in Cellular Function


Using advances in mass spectrometry-based proteomics this project aims to uncover how phosphorylation affects the function of proteins and cells in both healthy and diseased states.

The Lead Supervisor for this project is David James. The project will also be supervised by Sean Humphrey.


Professor David James.

Research location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program type



Protein phosphorylation is a post-translational modification that underpins all biological processes. Over two thirds of the proteins within cells harbor phosphorylation sites – in most instances multiple. The phosphorylation of proteins involves a dynamic equilibrium between the activities of hundreds of protein kinases and phosphatases, the actions of which can drastically alter the behavior of their target protein. Given the highly dynamic nature of this modification it provides unique insights into cellular function as well as opportunities for drug discovery, which we are exploring using advanced mass spectrometry-based technologies. This project will involve molecular cloning, biochemical assays and mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics to explore the intersection between protein kinases, their targets, and function.

Additional information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2873

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