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BBSRC SWBio BBSRC DTP - Investigating how imprinted Grb10 influences brain growth

Project Description

The gene Grb10 belongs to a group called the ‘imprinted genes’. These mammalian specific genes are expressed from one parental copy only – unlike most other mammalian genes that, on average, are expressed equally from both inherited parental copies. The unique epigenetic status and functional roles of imprinted genes have therefore led to them being studied by molecular biologists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary biologists. This PhD project aims to investigate its functional role. Imprinted genes are known to converge on key aspects of mammalian function, including growth. This PhD project will focus on an uninvestigated area, specifically the role of imprinted genes in regulating brain growth, using the Grb10 gene as a model.

The project will use techniques ranging from rodent neuroimaging and histology to cutting-edge gene expression analysis. Specifically, the student will use MRI/DTI techniques to assess brain volume and connectivity in mice lacking a paternal copy of Grb10; examine the cellular diversity of these brains, and use RNA-seq to investigate differences in gene expression in different cell types within the brain across adulthood. Consequently, the student will gain experience in a variety of laboratory-based research techniques and a broad range of data analysis and programming skills.


These studentships are available to UK and EU nationals who have established UK residency (EU nationals must have ordinarily lived in the UK throughout the three years preceding the start of the studentship). Please refer to the DTP eligibility webpage for more details.

Cardiff University will be able to award up to one fully funded four-year studentship for EU students who do not meet the residency requirements.

Entry requirements

Please refer to the DTP eligibility webpage for academic entry requirements:
If English is not your first language, you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in all skills.

How to apply

Make your application to Cardiff University:

Please ensure that your application includes:

Two references. Neither of the referees should be part of the supervisory team.
Academic transcripts / degree certificate(s)
Personal statement. Please include supporting evidence for your Maths background.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
English language certificates (where applicable)

Please refer to the DTP webpage for information about the selection process.

Funding Notes

Studentships will provide you with a stipend for 4 years in line with UK Research and Innovation (Research Council) rates (£15,009 in 2019/20), payment of university tuition fees, and a Research and Training and Support Grant (RTSG) to support the project.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Cardiff University in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 69.33

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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