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How to build chromosome segregation machinery in meiosis and mitosis

  • Full or part time
    Prof H Ohkura
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 05, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Genes must be passed on accurately from cell to cell and from parents to children. Failure to do so can be a cause or contributing factor in human illnesses, such as cancer or reproductive/birth defects. During eukaryotic cell divisions, cells dramatically change their organisation. DNA carrying genes are packaged into chromosomes and the spindle made of microtubules is assembled to segregate the chromosomes. Two types of divisions, mitotic and meiotic, share common mechanisms but have critical differences. The project aims to understand the molecular differences between mitosis and female meiosis in how the chromosome segregation machinery is built. More specifically, the project can look into regulation of chromatin organisation by histone modifications and epigenetics, spatial and temporal control of kinesins/microtubule-associated proteins by phosphorylation/ ubiquitination, or kinetochore-microtubule interaction. The student will use systematic genomic and proteomic approaches to identify proteins in these processes in Drosophila. Functional studies using genetic analysis and in vivo RNAi will be carried out in both mitosis and meiosis to identify proteins responsible for the differences in chromosome segregation machinery between them. The proteins will be further studied molecularly to establish how these proteins interact with other proteins and how they are regulated. During the course of PhD study, the student will use a combination of various approaches to tackle the question, which include biochemistry, genetics, bioinformatics, modelling and microscopy. The student will use their initiative to run their own project independently through close interaction with colleagues and the supervisor.

Information on the lab, research and publications can be found at http://ohkura.bio.ed.ac.uk.er Information

Funding Notes

The “Visit Website” button on this page will take you to our Online Application checklist. Please complete each step and download the checklist which will provide a list of funding options and guide you through the application process.

If you would like us to consider you for one of our scholarships you must apply by 5 January 2020 at the latest.


M. F. A. Costa and H. Ohkura (2019) The molecular architecture of the meiotic spindle is remodelled during metaphase arrest in oocytes. 218: 2854-2864.

P. Rome and H. Ohkura (2018) A novel microtubule nucleation pathway for meiotic spindle assembly in oocytes. J. Cell Biol. 217: 3431-3445.

R. Beaven, R. N. Bastos, C. Spanos, P. Rome, C. F. Cullen, J. Rappsilber, R. Giet, G. Goshima and H. Ohkura (2017) 14-3-3 regulation of Ncd reveals a new mechanism for targeting proteins to the spindle in oocytes. J. Cell Biol. 216: 3029-3039.

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 109.70

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

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