Research Projects
Investigating the Molecular Mechanism by Which Human Tubulin Isotypes Regulate the Mechanical Properties of Microtubules

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS
About the Project

The human genome encodes multiple α- and β-tubulin gene families (i.e., isotypes) that have the protein expression profile varying with cell types and developmental stages. While single point mutations in a specific tubulin isotype have been associated with human diseases, the molecular mechanism by which tubulin isotypes confer microtubules’ functions remains poorly understood. Using our field-leading strategy to generate isotypically pure recombinant human tubulin, Ti Lab will employ combinatorial approaches of biochemistry, biophysics, chemical biology, and structural biology to investigate the intrinsic properties of different human tubulin isotypes.

An ideal candidate should have excellent experiment and communication skills. Preference will be given to applicants with a strong background in physics, molecular biology, protein purification, and cell culture.

About the Supervisor

Dr JSC Ti, School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr Jeff Shih-chieh Ti joined the School of Biomedical Sciences as Assistant Professor in September 2019. Before joining HKU, Dr Ti received his Ph.D. (Biochemistry and Biophysics) from Yale University and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University. His current research focuses on dissecting the mechanism by which cells organize microtubules into complex arrays that play critical roles in cell division, organelle transportation, and cell migration. In particular, employing protein biochemistry, proteomics, optical tweezers, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy, Dr Ti’s group will examine the molecular basis that confers the unique and essential functions of the diverse human tubulin isotypes.

Laboratory Homepage

Next Step?

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website.

General admission enquiries should be directed to