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PhD at the University of Hong Kong in protein and stem cell engineering


School of Biomedical Sciences

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

About the Project

My laboratory studies how transcription factors read the genomic code to toggle the switches that turn genes on and off to give cells their identity. We use structural analyses, biochemical assays, genomics and cell fate reprogramming in our research. The new knowledge gleaned from these analyses is the applied to re-engineer driver molecules that change cell states in order to more effectively manipulate cells in a dish. By protein engineering, we can switch and drastically improve the function of factors the give cells new identities. To advance these efforts, we devised a method for the directed molecular evolution in mammalian to identify artificially evolved and enhanced transcription factors (eTFs). Ongoing projects will focus to apply this platform in lineage reprogramming and the differentiation of pluripotent cells to push the boundaries for the production of functional cells for the study of diseases and regenerative therapies.

I seek to recruit graduate students to join us in these endeavors supported by attractive post-graduate student fellowships of up to HK$319,200 (approximately US$41,000) per year.

Graduate student projects
1) Technologies for cell fate reprogramming and stem cell differentiation
2) Rational protein design and directed molecular evolution of reprogramming factors
3) Sequence-structure-function analysis of engineered ‘super TFs’
4) Authentic cell models for neurodegenerative disease

About the PI and the lab:
Ralf Jauch joined the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Hong Kong as Associate Professor in 2018. He did his undergraduate studies at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany, and the University of Manchester and obtained his PhD degree in 2005 at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. In 2006, he joined the Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR, and stayed for seven years as a PostDoc and Research Scientist. From 2013-2018, he was a Principal Investigator at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he helped to set up the GIBH- Max Planck Center for Regenerative Biomedicine. The culturally diverse laboratory currently has nine members.

Lab website: http://www.sbms.hku.hk/staff/ralf-jauch
Full publication list: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=ralf+jauch

About the graduate fellowships available in Hong Kong:
Main round application: September – December 1, 2020
For further details, please refer to the Graduate School website
About the Hong Kong PhD Fellowships: https://cerg1.ugc.edu.hk/hkpfs
Postgraduate Prospectus of the Medical Faculty: http://www.med.hku.hk/rpg/
About the Medical Faculty of HKU: http://www.med.hku.hk/
About the HKU Graduate School: http://www.gradsch.hku.hk/gradsch/

Faculty information, funding opportunities and application deadlines: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/program/biomedical-research-hku-li-ka-shing-faculty-of-medicine/?i586p4119

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