AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a critical regulator of cellular energy metabolism that controls many of the acute and adaptive effects of exercise in skeletal muscle (Kjøbsted et al, doi: 10.1096/fj.201700442R). As such, AMPK in skeletal muscle is an important drug target for Type 2 Diabetes, sarcopenia, cachexia, muscular dystrophy etc.

Skeletal muscle is the only organ in humans to express the regulatory AMPK γ3 isoform, which is differentiated from the other γ isoforms 1 & 2 by a unique N-terminal domain (NTD). Our extensive preliminary data has revealed an unexpected regulatory role for the γ3 NTD that could be exploited for muscle-specific AMPK activation, a major aim of big pharma.

Using a combination of biochemistry, cell biology, mass spectrometry and structural biology in a supportive and well-equipped environment, this exciting Honours project will generate new knowledge on the structure and function of AMPK γ3.

Applicants considering these projects will need to be motivated and curious.

Supervised by

Jon Oakhill
Jon Oakhill

Head, Metabolic Signalling

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[email protected]

+ 61 3 9231 2480

Available for Student Supervision