Funded PhD studentship in Chromosome Biology
Project Title: The chromosomal context of human ribosomal gene arrays
Supervisor: Prof Brian McStay
Duration: €18,500 per annum & fees for 4 years (Structured PhD) full time.
Project description: Nucleoli form around distinct chromosomal features termed nucleolar organiser regions (NORs) that comprise ribosomal gene (rDNA) arrays, coding for the major RNA components of ribosomes. NORs are located on the short or p-arms of five different human chromosomes. These so-called acrocentric chromosomes differ from the rest of our chromosomes in that they have a very short p-arm. Our current best guess is that acrocentric-p arms are entirely dedicated to nucleolar formation and ribosome biogenesis. The successful applicant will exploit long read DNA sequencing technologies (PacBio HiFi and ONT ultra-long read) to explore the chromosomal context of human NORs. This information will underpin chromosomal engineering approaches to assess how chromosomal context influences nucleolar formation. This work has added significance as nucleoli represent an important paradigm for understanding how the genome is organised within human cells, a fundamental question in modern biology. For a more detailed description of research in the McStay laboratory and for links to recent relevant publications see https://www.chromosome.ie/researchers/mcstay/.
The student will advance her/his problem-solving skills while amassing expertise in DNA sequencing and analysis, molecular and cellular biology, genome editing, and microscopy in a laboratory with an international reputation and at the forefront of basic research.
The studentship will be based in the McStay Laboratory located in the Centre for Chromosome Biology ( https://www.chromosome.ie ) in the Biomedical Science Building, NUI Galway. The McStay laboratory is funded by a recent Investigator award from the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research partnership. In support of this award, the College of Science and Engineering, NUI Galway, is funding this studentship.
Entry Requirements: Applications are invited from outstanding and highly motivated candidates with, or who expect to receive, a 1st class honour (or a high 2.1) degree in a relevant discipline. Candidates with an MSc in a relevant discipline and/or experience in bioinformatics are especially encouraged to apply.
Expected start date: The studentship will start in Sept 2022
How to apply: Applications should be emailed to Professor McStay ([Email Address Removed]) with a full CV, contact details of two academic supervisors and a brief outline of their interest in pursuing PhD training in this field of research. Please include “PhD-NOR” in the subject line of your email.
Closing date for applications: The position will remain open until filled by a suitable candidate.