The role of nuclear motor proteins in chromatin dynamics


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  Dr Joanna Bridger  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Our laboratory has been working on active and rapid gene and chromosome movement with interphase nuclei using gene or chromosome positioning assays via bio-imaging, data analysis and live imaging. We have identified a nuclear motor mechanism that is involved in this active and directional movement containing motor proteins, such as actin and myosins, that form functional complexes. These proteins and complexes are responsible for taking genes and chromosomes to new non-random locations and structures involved in gene expression or silencing. This project would investigate the mechanism of gene/chromosome movement within cells by interfering with the ability of these proteins to build these complexes using specific drugs and genomic engineering. The project will then combine cell culture, fluorescence in situ hybridisation, 3D and 4D imaging and analysis, assessing the epigenetic status of chromatin being relocated with ChIP-seq and CRISPR/cas9 genomic engineering.

Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.


Rapid chromosome territory relocation by nuclear motor activity in response to serum removal in primary human fibroblasts. Mehta IS, Amira M, Harvey AJ, Bridger JM. Genome Biol. 2010 Jan 13;11(1):R5. doi: 10.1186/gb-2010-11-1-r5.
Chromobility: the rapid movement of chromosomes in interphase nuclei. Bridger JM. Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Dec;39(6):1747-51. doi: 10.1042/BST20110696.

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