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MSc by Research programme: The epigenetic basis of blood diseases

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, July 16, 2020
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

This course allows you to work alongside our world renowned experts from the School of Life Sciences and gain a ’real research’ experience. You will have the opportunity to select a research project from a variety of thematic areas of research.

You will be part of our collaborative working environment and have access to outstanding shared facilities such as microscopy and proteomics. Throughout your year, you will develop an advanced level of knowledge on your topic of interest as well as the ability to perform independent research in the topic area. Alongside basic science training in experimental design, data handling and research ethics, we will help you to develop skills in critical assessment and communication. This will be supported by workshops in scientific writing, presentation skills, ethics, laboratory safety, statistics, public engagement and optional applied bioinformatics.

The period of study is one year full-time or two years part-time research, which includes two months to write up the thesis. Please apply via the UCAS postgraduate application form: https://digital.ucas.com/courses/details?coursePrimaryId=c735d826-42b6-ca1f-50db-2a3ac6f68718

The epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is established by DNMT (DNA methyltransferase) enzymes and has been shown to correlate with transcriptional states and influence cell identity and tumorigenesis in mammalian cells. The recent discovery that TET (Ten-Eleven-Translocation) enzymes produce 5-hydromethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5fC), 5-carboxycytosine (5caC) and mediate passive and active DNA demethylation in the genome has opened a new avenue to understand how DNA methylation dynamics affect transcriptional programs (Rasmussen and Helin, 2016). Mutations in TET2 and DNMT3A are frequently found (~10-50% of patients) in a wide range of blood diseases, including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). However, the downstream events that cause hematopoietic stem cell to expand and transform following the occurrence of these mutations are currently unknown.

The 1-year Master Project will be aligned with on-going projects in the lab to characterize the effect of aberrant DNA methylation on gene expression and link this to haematological diseases. Students with an interest in epigenetics and gene regulation are most welcome to contact Kasper on and visit the lab for an informal talk about detailed projects.

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