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Assembly and function of basal bodies in Trypanosoma brucei

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, December 31, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Oxford Brookes University
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,
Department of Biomedical and Medical Sciences

3 Year, full-time PhD studentship
Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU
Closing date: 31 December 2019
Start date: September 2020
Interview: w/c 13 January 2020
Bursary p.a.: Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees (2019/20 bursary rate is £15,009)
University fees and bench fees at the Home/EU rate will be met by the University for the 3 years of the Studentship.
Supervisor: Prof. Sue Vaughan.

Eukaryotic flagella/cilia are complex microtubule based organelles that are assembled from basal bodies. These organelles are required for motility and carry out many different sensory functions in a wide variety of cells. Most cells in Humans can produce a primary cilium which are used in sensory functions as well as modulating flow and for motility. There are a group of genetic diseases called ciliopathies in Humans that result from defects in cilia/flagella function. Many unicellular eukaryotic organisms including protozoan parasites also use flagella for motility. The African sleeping sickness parasite Trypanosoma brucei, requires the flagellum and motility in all of its life cycle stages and is essential for pathogenicity.
The Vaughan laboratory is part of a large collaborative Wellcome Trust Project to produce a genome-wide localisation study in Trypanosomes. A total of 307 proteins were localised to the basal body area. Trypanosomes have excellent molecular biology tools including RNAi, knockouts, endogenous tagging of proteins to interrogate the function of these proteins. The aim of this project is to dissect the assembly and maturation process of basal bodies in Trypanosomes. This project will give key insights into basal body biogenesis and discover which proteins are part of core-conserved functions in mammalian cells and which are unique to unicellular organisms and parasites. This project will use a range of different techniques including molecular biology, tissue culture and bioimaging. Prof. Vaughan is the Bioimaging Lead and the project will use cutting edge 3D microscope techniques including cellular electron tomography and serial block face scanning electron microscopy.

For further information contact Prof. Sue Vaughan

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification in biological science or related discipline. EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre.

How to apply:
Applications should be sent to and should include the following form
(View Website)

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