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Redox Regulation of Signal Transduction

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Host campus
Associate Professor Elizabeth Ledgerwood


Our group is focused on understanding redox regulation of signal transduction and the role of these process in normal cell function and in the biology of aging. In particular we are interested in the peroxiredoxin family of enzymes that are part of a “redox network” underlying the translation of redox signals into regulation of protein function. We use a combination of cell biology and protein biochemistry techniques to address various questions in peroxiredoxin biology. We have one project available for a prospective PhD student starting in 2021.

How does quaternary structure control peroxiredoxin function?

Peroxiredoxins are the major peroxide-metabolising enzymes in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. As a results they sit at the interface of antioxidant responses and redox regulation of cell signalling. Recent work by us a others suggests that these enzymes “translate” oxidant signals into changes in target protein function, particularly within phosphorylation cascades where they appear to work with a variety of adaptor proteins to control specificity of redox signalling. Intriguingly they exist in a variety of conformations, from dimers to decameric donuts and stacked decamers. This project will focus on understanding the functions of these distinct structures in redox signalling, using a combination of in vitro and cell culture approaches.

The ideal PhD candidates will have a strong interest in protein function and cell signalling, excellent communication and team-work abilities and a drive to succeed. You will have either a BSc(Hons) or MSc in biochemistry or a related discipline, with a strong focus on protein structure and function. A PhD stipend is not included and must be applied for separately. Applications will be assessed as they are received.
Include in your application:

  • A copy of your CV
  • A copy of your academic transcript
  • A short motivation statement (maximum 500 words)
  • A pdf copy of your research thesis

The ability to communicate proficiently in English is essential.

Applicants must be eligible for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Otago and be eligible for a scholarship.

Formal english language requirements can be found on the University of Otago website

See details of the Otago PhD scholarships on the university website.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some restrictions may be in place. Visit for ongoing updates:
- International students


Elizabeth Ledgerwood