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Investigating how protein interactions with non-coding RNA contribute to ALS-mediated degeneration of motor neurons.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, April 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Six new fully funded PhD research studentships are offered in the School of Applied Sciences for a 23 September 2019 start. The School is made up of the Departments of Biological and Geographical Sciences, Chemical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

There is competition funding for 6 of the 12 research projects advertised. Usually the projects which receive the best applicants are funded.

Successful applicants will receive a fully funded PhD opportunity to work with an international team investigating the molecular causes of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is an incurable, age-related disease that results in the degeneration of motor neurons (MNs). Despite intense research and the identification of numerous causative gene mutations, the molecular mechanisms that underpin ALS remain largely elusive. A characteristic shared by many of the mutated genes responsible for ALS is that they encode RNA-binding proteins. Working with a human neuron cell culture model, we have identified changes in the subcellular localisation of an RNA-binding protein implicated in ALS and demonstrated that mislocalisation of this protein alters its RNA-interaction profile and the expression of numerous ALS-associated genes. This project will investigate the mechanisms responsible for mislocalisation of this RNA-binding protein and how this impacts on gene expression networks in neurons. The researcher will gain extensive expertise in human cell culture, RNAi, CRISPR gene editing, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics in addition to a wide-range of general cellular and molecular-biology techniques. Moreover, the researcher will have an opportunity to undertake a sabbatical to the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard University where they will receive training in cutting-edge RNA analysis from our international collaborators.

The studentships are open to citizens of the UK or EU only, and cover the full cost of tuition fees and an annual tax-free bursary of £15,009 for three years (RCUK rates). Successful applicants will have a very good first or upper second degree or Masters degree in a relevant subject. The course will begin in September 2019.

To apply, please send your CV and a personal statement to . Please indicate that you wish to apply for the project above and highlight Dr J. Boyne, as the supervisor. Please note that the deadline for applications is 25 April 2019.

Please contact Dr J. Boyne, (), for enquiries on the project.

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