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The role of the “junk DNA” in organising nuclear architecture and controlling DNA replication

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Buonomo
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A substantial proportion of our genomes comprises of DNA originating from what used to be viruses, now stably integrated. The host cells have hijacked these elements, transforming them into key players of the regulatory landscape. A large class of these elements is represented by the Endogenous Retro Viruses (ERVs). Their function in modulating gene expression, especially during early embryonic development, is well-known. Little is known, however, of their influence on genome architecture and of their potential role in the regulation of the timing of DNA replication. The aim of the project is to start exploring these fascinating and little-understood areas.

If you are interested in cell cycle, DNA replication, nuclear organization, chromosome biology and want to work with mammalian primary and stem cells join our group. We employ cutting edge technology such as genome-wide analysis of chromatin contacts (3C-derivatives), chromatin immunoprecipitation, RNA-seq profiling of gene expression and deep-sequencing-based replication-timing analysis. We also use confocal microscopy and live-imaging techniques. We are looking for enthusiastic, flexible and hard-working candidates driven by curiosity and passion for science. Basic knowledge of cell/molecular biology and ability to work in English, in an international environment are required

Funding Notes

The “Apply online” button on this page will take you to our Online Application checklist. Please complete each step and download the checklist which will provide a list of funding options and guide you through the application process.

If you would like us to consider you for one of our scholarships you must apply by 12 noon on 13 December 2018 at the latest.


Sukackaite, Mouse Rif1 is a regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1).
Sci Rep. 2017 May 18;7(1):2119

Foti R. et al., Nuclear architecture organized by Rif1 underpins the Replication-timing program,. Mol Cell. 2016 Jan 21;61(2):260-73.

Cornacchia D et al., Mouse Rif1 is a key regulator of the DNA replication-timing program in mammalian cells, EMBO J. 2012 Sep 12;31(18):3678-90.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 109.70

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