Role of m6A methylation in virus infection

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Prof A Whitehouse, Dr A.K Tuplin  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

RNA can be chemically modified and it’s now emerging that the modification status of an RNA can affect its fate and function. The most common mRNA modification, m6A methylation, functions by recruiting so-called effector m6A reader proteins to modified RNAs. Once bound these m6A reader proteins determine RNA processing events. Not surprisingly, viruses manipulate the host cell RNA modification machinery to enhance virus replication. We have recently shown that KSHV-encoded RNAs are heavily m6A modified and that the modification of host cell RNAs is drastically altered during infection (Baquero et al., (2019) eLife, 8:e47261). This project now aims to determine how and why KSHV manipulates the host’s RNA modification machinery. We will address the key question of why the m6A modification status of host cell RNAs are altered and how this enhances KSHV replication. This may provide new avenues to antiviral strategies.
This project uses an interdisciplinary approach, combining virology and cell biology, coupled with transcriptomic analysis and bioinformatics. You will be provided training in a wide range of confocal imaging approaches and molecular/virological techniques, in addition to bioinformatic approaches to analyse transcriptome/CLIP-seq data and quantitative skills to analyse differential expression patterns.

More information on the Whitehouse lab can be found at :

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2020:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference and research funding

At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.

EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency to receive full studentship

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.


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