University of Dundee

Chemical profiling of ubiquitin conjugation enzymes

A PhD project in the Virdee lab is available involving the development of chemical tools known as activity-based probes (ABPs). ABPs measure the activity of disease-relevant enzymes and the Virdee lab have developed these for the enzymes that conjugate ubiquitin to substrates (1-3). The project will develop next generation versions of these powerful tools and apply them to make exciting biological discoveries and advance drug discovery towards these highly promising therapeutic targets. The project crosses the boundaries of chemistry and biology and would provide fantastic training opportunity for those wishing to pursue a career in life science research. Those with an undergraduate degree in a chemical science with prior experience working with biological systems would be strongly encouraged to apply.


Stanley et al., ACS Chem Biol 2015, 10 (6), 1542.

Pao et al., Nature Chemical Biology 2016, 12 (5), 324.

Pao et al., Nature 2018, 556 (7701), 381.

At the MRC PPU, as well as the possibility of a PhD in one particular lab, we offer the possibility of two 4.5-month rotations in labs of their choice. A range of other projects from MRC PPU scientists are advertised on this website. Rotations provide valuable experience and help with deciding on the choice of PhD project and research group.

To apply, please send a CV with contact details of three referees to and a cover letter explaining why you have chosen to apply to MRC PPU to The closing date for this round of applications is March 31st, with interviews in April.