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PhD Studentship – Regulation of neuronal mRNA transport and protein synthesis by G-quadruplexes.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Coldwell
    Dr K Deinhardt
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Normal neuronal behaviour is dependent on protein synthesis being localised distally from the soma, in dendrites and axons. Individual dendritic spines are subject to discrete, local signalling at synapses and local protein synthesis is suggested to be essential for some forms of plasticity. However, the control mechanisms for local translation remain poorly understood.

mRNA trafficking is mediated by binding of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) to specific sequences in mRNAs. The number of different sequences/signals and their associated RBPs has expanded in recent years, showing a great diversity in these regulatory mechanisms. This project will focus on G-quadruplexes, structures that can form in G-rich regions and regulate both translation initiation (due to their forming structures inhibitory to ribosome scanning) and also RNA localisation (due to their binding to transport proteins). Understanding how G-quadruplexes regulate localisation and translation of specific mRNAs will allow us insight into neurological gene expression.

Applicants should have hands on experience in molecular and cell biology techniques, with a working knowledge of RNA and microscopy techniques particularly useful. An academic background in eukaryotic gene expression and/or neuroscience would also be advantageous.

Funding Notes

The project is funded for 3 years and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Biological Sciences or allied subjects. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates of £ 14,057 per annum.

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants.


Applications for an MPhil/PhD in Biological Sciences should be submitted online at:

On the application form, please place Dr Mark Coldwell’s name in the field for proposed supervisor.

General enquiries should be made to Dr Mark Coldwell at [email protected] Any queries on the application process should be made to [email protected]

The University of Southampton and the Centre for Biological Sciences both hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University benefits include onsite childcare facilities, state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

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

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