This is one of several projects available on an MRC funded 4-year multi-disciplinary PhD programme in Human Genetics, Genomics and Disease at the MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU), part of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) at the University of Edinburgh.
In mammalian cells DNA is packaged up with proteins in a macromolecular complex called chromatin. Chromatin protects the DNA from damage but also controls the 3D folding of DNA to regulate processes such as gene transcription. Transcription starts at gene promoters, genomic elements that integrate molecular inputs and provides a suitable environment for protein binding. Although we have a good understanding of the protein components found at promoters we do not know the 3D structure. Successful candidates will work with the chemistry department to develop new small molecule cross-linkers that can be used as molecular probes to dissect the 3D structure of chromatin. You will then use these tools to generate the first 3D structure of a synthetic promoter.
This project would best suit an individual with a chemistry or biochemistry background or a biologist with a strong interest in chemistry. All required training will be provided.