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Unconventional role of a ribosomal subunit during Drosophila development

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Renault
    Dr C de Moor
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

This project explores the functionality of ribosomes, ancient molecular machines that are responsible for protein production in all living cells. We have recently discovered an interesting Drosophila line with a mutation in a ribosomal subunit that causes defects in the formation of the embryonic gonad. We will explore the function of this ribosomal subunit to solve the apparent paradox between the universal requirement for ribosomes versus the specific defects in this mutant. We will seek to understand whether this subunit is a constitutive component of the ribosome or has extra-ribosomal functions, whether the mutation leads to changes in bulk protein synthesis rates or whether particular proteins are affected and if so, through what mechanism. This work will increase our understanding of the functionalities of the ribosome and may well provide mechanistic insights into ribosomopathies, human disorders of ribosome dysfunction.

Successful candidates will join an active group within the highly rated School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham. The project will provide excellent training opportunities in recombinant DNA techniques (cloning, PCR), cell culture, Drosophila genetics, microscopy, biochemistry and protein analysis thereby providing comprehensive skills to students embarking on a career in the life sciences. We are based in the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham University, which provides a well-equipped and vibrant scientific community. For more details of our research see

Funding Notes

Home applicants need to be self-funded. EU applicants should visit the Graduate School webpages for information on specific EU scholarships. International applicants should visit our International Research Scholarships page for information regarding fees and funding at the University.


Tripathy R., Kunwar P.S., Sano H., and Renault A.D. (2014) Transcriptional regulation of Drosophila gonad formation. Developmental Biology, 392 (2), 193-208.

Xue S. and Barna M. (2012) Specialized ribosomes: a new frontier in gene regulation and organismal biology. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 13, 355–369.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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