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Advanced microscopy analyses of SMC complex chromatin dynamics across the genome

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Baxter
    Dr K Chan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Background: How chromosomes are organised in cells is critical for genetic function and inheritance. In all living cells SMC complexes dynamically structure chromosomes. SMCs appear to function as chromatin binding proteins that organise DNA into loops along the chromosome. Appropriate SMC complex function on chromatin is essential for correct gene expression, chromosome segregation and DNA repair. The chromatin dynamics of SMC complexes is thought to be regulated by a number of factors, including recruitment proteins, post translational modifications and other factors that regulate its enzymatic action. Understanding how these modifiers act together to generate the essential outcomes of SMC complex action is a critical question in cell biology. Furthermore, SMC complexes are emerging as critical factors in cancer evolution and in the cellular response to chemotherapeutic treatments.

Project: In this project we will use advanced microscopy techniques to directly assess and compare how different modifiers of SMC function regulate the complexes action on chromosomes. We will principally use single molecules analysis (PALM) and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching techniques to assess how different modifiers of SMC complex action alter their chromatin dynamics in living cells (principally yeasts and humans)

Impact: By investigating questions in complementary systems (yeasts and human cells)—selected for their utility to answer particular questions—we expect to gain significant insight into previously unexplored areas of SMC biology and explain how these critical chromosome machines can have different outcomes in different genomic contexts.

Applicant: The project would suit a recent life-sciences graduate who is confident in working autonomously to develop advanced microscopy techniques, and who has the ability and interest to combine wet-lab research work with the technological expertise required for excellent microscopy.

Ideal candidates will have recently received an MSc and/or a First or high 2:1 BSc in a relevant subject. Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section.

Please submit a formal application using our online application system at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply, including a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, statement of interest and names of two academic referees.
On the application system use Programme of Study – PhD Genome Stability. In the funding section choose: “I am applying for funding” (it covers fees and stipend and you will know the outcome by April).

Please make sure you include the project title and Supervisor’s name with your statement of interest on the application form.

Funding Notes

This School funded position, which covers fees and a stipend at standard RCUK rates, is open to Home / EU applicant only.

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