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How do cells keep the pease? Resolving the conflict between DNA replication and transcription (NIEDUSZYNSKI_E22DTP)

   Graduate Programme

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  Prof Conrad Nieduszynski  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

At the heart of every cell a conflict is taking place, as the machinery of DNA replication and transcription clash. The conflict is over a specific sequence of DNA, which can only be engaged in either transcription or replication at any one time. Resolving conflicts between these two vital processes is essential for life on Earth, ensuring the genome is copied faithfully and avoiding genome instability, while enabling appropriate gene expression. Cells are able to efficiently resolve these replication-transcription conflict. However, we do not yet fully understand the pathways, which presents an exciting opportunity for a PhD student to join our lab. We have recently developed a novel genomic technology that can detect transcription-replication conflicts, which will allow us to discover pathways that the cell uses to protect the genome.

We offer a highly collaborative, multi-disciplinary PhD between the Nieduszynski (DNA replication; technology development) and Haerty (DNA transcription; bioinformatics) groups. The main aim of the project is to determine the mechanisms employed by the cell to resolve the inevitable conflicts between DNA transcription and DNA replication.

 The student will work in a rapidly developing field and gain a unique expertise in nanopore single molecule sequencing, technology development and computational biology. The project will be conducted at the Earlham Institute, a BBSRC supported, world leading research centre for bioinformatics and sequencing technology development. The student will have access to training and career development opportunities at EI and at Norwich Research Park as part of the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership.

The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to UK and international candidates for entry October 2021 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship placement (PIPS) during their study. The placement offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the NRPDTP programme. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Tuesday 25th January, Wednesday 26th January and Thursday 27th January 2022.

Visit our website for further information on eligibility and how to apply:

Our partners value diverse and inclusive work environments that are positive and supportive. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Funding Notes

This project is awarded with a 4-year Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) PhD studentship. The studentship includes payment of tuition fees (directly to the University), a stipend for each year of the studentship (2021/2 stipend rate: £15,609), and a Research Training Support Grant for each year of the studentship of £5,000 p.a.


Müller, C. A. et al. Capturing the dynamics of genome replication on individual ultra-long nanopore sequence reads. Nat Methods 16, 429–436 (2019).
Boemo, M. A. DNAscent v2: detecting replication forks in nanopore sequencing data with deep learning. BMC Genomics 22, 430 (2021).
Gómez-González, B. & Aguilera, A. Transcription-mediated replication hindrance: a major driver of genome instability. Gene Dev 33, 1008–1026 (2019).
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