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Investigating the role of phase separation in enhancer-dependent gene regulation

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, January 07, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Phase separation has recently emerged as one of the most exciting and fast-moving areas of biology. Phase separated condensates are membraneless organelles containing high densities of proteins and nucleic acids. They exist in a separate phase to the surrounding cellular environment, providing a method to compartmentalize and concentrate biochemical reactions in the nucleus. Recent evidence has pointed to a role for phase separated condensates as regulators of highly active enhancers. Enhancers are regulatory DNA sequences that control when, and in what tissue, particular genes are turned on and off. The Bose Lab studies how enhancer RNAs (eRNAs), non-coding RNAs transcribed from enhancers across the genome, can activate gene expression.

The successful PhD candidate will join our newly established, multidisciplinary research group as the part of the Sheffield Institute for Nucleic Acids (SInFoNiA) and Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Sheffield. In this project, we want to understand how phase separation affects the activity of the eRNAs and epigenetic enzymes responsible for enhancer function.

You will be part of an exciting, highly collaborative and dynamic research environment with extensive interactions and support from biologists, chemists, biophysicists and structural biologists. You will learn cutting edge approaches including next-generation sequencing, non-coding RNA biology, single molecule FRET and biochemical approaches to study chromatin modifications. The work will provide a new understanding of one of the most relevant questions in biology and will have broad ranging outcomes, from understanding human diseases to improving biotechnology.

Funding Notes

A 3.5–year PhD studentship is available. The studentship comes with full tuition fees and is available to UK/EU students. Stipend is at the standard UKRI rate (currently £14,777 pa).

Requirements: At least a 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.90

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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