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BBSRC MIBTP: Transcriptional regulators of gene expression in human cells

School of Biosciences

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Dr Pawel Grzechnik , Dr M Soller No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Position for a PhD student is available in the group of Dr Pawel Grzechnik at the University of Birmingham. The aim of the project is to uncover novel roles for transcriptional factors and to investigate how mRNA processing alters gene expression in human cells.

Project outline:
The aim of the project is to uncover novel roles for transcriptional factors and to investigate how mRNA synthesis alters gene expression in human cells.
Precise control of transcription and RNA processing is essential for gene expression regulation in all eukaryotic organisms. Deregulation of these processes can lead to pathological outcomes including accelerated ageing and carcinogenesis. Human RPRD (Regulation of Nuclear mRNA Domain-Containing) proteins, are putative new players in mRNA synthesis, important for the regulation of gene expression.
The member of the RPRD family, CREPT protein (cell cycle-related and expression-elevated protein in tumour) interacts with RNA Polymerase II and is present at 5’ and 3’ regions of selected protein-coding genes. The 5’-end recruitment to the transcribing complex has been recently attributed to the role of CREPT in Pol II CTD acetylation which facilitates transcription elongation. However, functions of CRPT and other RPRD proteins in RNA biogenesis remain largely uncovered.
Therefore, the aim of this project is to investigate roles for RPRD proteins in mRNA synthesis with a special focus on transcription elongation and termination. The outcome of this research will help to better understand how gene expression is regulated in eukaryotic cells.

The project will employ a wide variety of classic and modern biochemical and cell biology techniques including genome editing (CRISPR-cas9), high-throughput RNA analyses (e.g. RNA-seq, 4sU-RNA-seq), bioinformatics, Western blotting.

MIBTP program
The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP) is focused on interdisciplinary bioscience research and on encouraging new ways of working such as quantitative approaches and new technology platforms. Students from a wide diversity of academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply: those with creative drive in both theoretical disciplines (maths, computer science, statistics) as well as experimental science (Biology, Biomedicine, Chemistry, Biotechnology).

Host environment:
University of Birmingham is a world-leading University ranked in the top 100 out of over 8,000 universities in the world. The Grzechnik lab is interested in different aspects of nuclear RNA biology with a special focus on transcriptional processes in eukaryotic cells and provide an exceptional environment for personal and scientific development.

Person specification
We are looking for a highly motivated, driven and enthusiastic person interested in RNA biology. Applicants should have a strong background in molecular biology and hold or expect to obtain at First Class Degree (1:1) or equivalent in genetics/molecular biology/medicine or relevant field.

Informal enquiries about the post should be directed to Dr Pawel Grzechnik ([Email Address Removed].)

Grzechnik lab website:

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded by MIBTP.
All MIBTP students will be provided with 4 years of financial support (RCUK stipend with additional travel allowance in the first year), including funds for research consumables and conference travel, as well as a laptop for use throughout their studies.
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