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Exercise and RNA oxidation

   Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

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  Prof Gareth Davison, Dr Conor McClean  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This studentship is based in Belfast. 

Exercise yields several beneficial biological and metabolic adaptations, diminishing the risk of several disease states. Despite these beneficial effects, prolonged and/or strenuous high-intensity exercise increases the production of reactive oxygen species, which can impair normal cell function, and compromise DNA and RNA integrity. Previous work from our laboratory has observed nucleotide base oxidation alongside oxidative damage to single and double-stranded DNA following exhaustive exercise. More recently, emerging evidence shows that exercise can also modify RNA through an oxidation process. As such, the primary aim of this project is to ascertain the effects of high-intensity exercise on RNA oxidation.

This PhD studentship will involve undertaking several studies designed to determine the relationship between exercise and RNA modifications. The completion of this work will require the extraction of cell genetic material following exercise across a range of intensities and durations. This PhD studentship will build on our history of work aligned to exercise-induced DNA modification and will merge the scientific domains of Exercise Biochemistry with Molecular Biology. The PhD researcher will gain experience in biochemical and molecular techniques, as well as an opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge in exercise biochemistry. We plan to use the most-up-to-date molecular techniques designed to quantify RNA oxidation. 

This PhD studentship would suit a graduate from the areas of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Health, Molecular Biology, Stratified Medicine or Biomedical Science. The successful applicant should have a good knowledge of exercise biochemistry and a sound knowledge of wet laboratory techniques would be an advantage. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively through oral and written means is also a desirable quality.

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