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Mechanisms of primary cilia formation


   Faculty of Medicine

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The primary cilium is an enigmatic, antenna-like organelle present on the surface of most cells. Whilst it was originally described as a vestigial organelle, recent years have indisputably proven its status as a seminal structure for sensing various extracellular stimuli. Primary cilia govern many important aspects of embryonic development as well as tissue homeostasis in adulthood. Consequently, deregulation of primary cilia assembly, maintenance, or function is linked to numerous human diseases, collectively termed ciliopathies.

Components of basal bodies, such as Tau Tubulin Kinase 2, have recently emerged as crucial elements controlling various aspects of primary cilia formation and function. However, the mechanistic understanding of how the individual components act together to fulfill their indispensable role in cilia biology is lacking. The Ph.D. student will pursue a project intended to investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling the formation and maintenance of primary cilia, with the intention to bring insight into the processes governed by Tau Tubulin Kinase 2 at the basal body.

The student pursuing this project will have an access to state-of-the-art methodology and instrumentation, including classical biochemical and cell biology approaches, proteomics, gene editing using CRISPR/Cas9, and advanced microscopy techniques (super-resolution microscopy, live cell imaging).

Requirements:

Master's degree in biological sciences or similar. The selected student should be motivated, curiosity-driven, eager to learn, and capable of critical thinking. Experience with cell biology techniques will be an advantage.


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