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Non-coding RNAs (microRNAS/lncRNAS) and microenvironmental interactions of malignant B-cells

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  • Full or part time
    Prof M Mráz
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

We are looking for a motivated PhD student that would like to work on the following project funded by the ERC (European Research Council) Starting grant. It is now understood that B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling is the key pathway deregulated during the onset of many B cell leukemias and lymphomas. BCR signalling is also considered the most promising target for therapy in B cell malignancies. We have recently revealed for the first time that microRNAs regulate the B-cell receptor signaling which opened a new field of research (Mraz et al., Blood, 2014; Musilova et al…Mraz, Blood, 2018; Mraz and Kipps, 2013, Musilova and Mraz, Leukemia, 2015). We have performed a complex profiling of miRNAs, lncRNAs and mRNAs in the context of the tumor microenvironment interactions that lead to BCR signalling activation. In our preliminary data we have identified several novel miRNAs that likely directly modulate the BCR signalling, and these observations will be further deciphered by the PhD student. The PhD candidate will continue this integrated analysis of coding and non-coding RNAs (miRNAs, lncRNAs) in the regulation of fundamental microenvironmental interactions of B cells (adhesion and BCR signalling). Moreover, we have recently started the first miRNA-based therapeutic trial in leukemias, and the novel miRNAs might be of further therapeutic interest.
- Modern laboratories, project funded by the prestigious ERC grant = high risk and high gain, state-of-the-art instrument, stable funding, competitive scholarship
- You will work in a team of young investigators that challenge some long standing problems in the field of hematology. We do basic science, but with the objective to help patients in the future (we have access to primary samples with hem. malignancies, and we suggest novel clinical trials).
- How to think and work independently as a scientist
- Writing of abstracts and papers (and course in grant writing and presentation of data)
- How to present data and will attend conferences to present your research
- You will spend 1-2 months visit(s) in collaborating labs in Europe or US
- Collaboration with experts in wet lab research and bioinformatics
- Novel methods such as Next Generation Sequencing (Illumina) and genome editing (Crispr).
- How to critically analyze scientific data (regular journal clubs)
- Classical methods of molecular biology (e.g. immunoblotting, flow cytometry, qRT-PCR, cell cultures, cloning), and you will use our in vitro models for microenvironmental interactions, and artificial activation/inhibition signalling pathways to decipher the gene regulatory loops.
- You can supervise bachelor and diploma students if interested
- Motivated smart people that have the “drive” to work independently, but also willing to learn from other people in the lab and collaborate.
- Candidates should have a master’s degree in Molecular biology, Biochemistry, or similar field and have deep interest in molecular biology and cancer cell biology.
- To apply please contact the supervisor and submit a CV by email to: [Email Address Removed] (Subject: PhD School).
- Information about the laboratory at:; The PhD will start approx. Sept 2019
OTHER INFO: The research is funded by ERC grant, and will be conducted at CEITEC MASARYK UNIVERSITY (campus Bohunice). Our laboratory extensively collaborates with the University Hospital Brno in the same campus to obtain primary samples from patients. The campus provides a vibrant, multidisciplinary and highly collaborative scientific environment. The lab is located in Brno, the second-largest city in Czech Republic that has the biggest concentration of biomedical research in the region. Brno is one of the major cultural hubs, with a vibrant and lively atmosphere housing ~60.000 students. The city has a very good public transport and plenty of interesting places to visit within the reach of trains (within small distance of several major cities such as Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest) and close to international airports.

RG: Marek Mráz Research Group

Keywords: B-cell receptor signaling, BCR, leukemia, lymphoma, B cell malignancies, miRNAs, lncRNAs, mRNAs, NGS data analysis, genome editing, Crispr

Applicants who wish to pursue a degree at the CEITEC PhD programme must hold the equivalent of a Master’s degree (MSc) in similar field (four or five year undergraduate degree). The application can be submitted before obtaining the Master’s degree, however, the applicant should obtain the degree within five month after the application deadline.

Funding Notes

Admission for studies, student registration for the full-time study programme and proper fulfilment of student duties constitute the student’s right to a regular scholarship of 22 000 CZK (850 EUR). Information is available at

Living costs and other practicalities available at

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