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Transcriptional regulation of lysosomes in cell senescence and infection

Project Description

Lysosomes are vital organelles. Besides removing cellular waste, processing nutrients and destroying pathogens, they serve as hubs for signalling pathways. Their numbers increase greatly during cellular senescence, a cell state crucial in both cancer suppression and ageing. Better understanding of this phenomenon and the underlying mechanisms may have wide-ranging applications in degenerative diseases, cancer, infections and lysosomal disorders.

This interdisciplinary project will first exploit “big data” in functional genomics to understand the molecular networks regulating lysosomal gene expression in cell senescence and following infection.

Putative regulators so identified will then be studied in the laboratory to verify their functions. Experimental approaches will focus on using cultured cells engineered to overexpress or lack the relevant regulator genes.

** Recombinant DNA methods
** Mammalian cell culture
** Gene transfer and gene editing
** Reporter gene assays, lysosomal enzyme assays
** Inducing and assaying cell senescence
** RNA extraction, quantitative PCR
** Fluorescence microscopy
** Retrieval of large genomics datasets from public repositories
** Data analysis using R and Linux/Unix
** Analysis of genomics data (sequences, gene expression data, molecular interaction data) using R/Bioconductor

All necessary skills will be taught.

BSc/BA, 1st class or 2(i) in biomedical science, bioinformatics, molecular biology or related. Preferably also MRes/MSc/MA in similar field, distinction or merit.

Potential applicants are strongly encourage to contact the supervisors (contact information below).
To apply please follow the instructions on the MRC-LID site at

Funding Notes

The current studentship is part of the MRC London Intercollegiate Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC-LID) between The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and St. George's University of London (SGUL).

Please click on the following link for more information about the MRC-LID programme: View Website

For more information on funding please go to: View Website


Links to relevant publications are available on the supervisors' websites:
Bennett lab:
Nohturfft lab:

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