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Uncovering the role of ASPM in mitosis

Project Description

ASPM (abnormal spindle-like, microcephaly-associated protein) is essential in determining the plane of division in mitosis. This is important in regulating neuronal development, and enabling humans to have a large brain. ASPM is also upregulated in many types of cancer, promoting cell proliferation. However, we do not clearly understand how this protein contributes to such an important role in mitosis. The goal of this project is to use super-resolution microscopy, combined with complementary in vitro assays including electron microscopy, to find out how this protein is organized in the spindle, how it interacts with its binding partners, and how this enables ASPM to determine the plane of cell division. You will be trained in protein expression and purification, binding assays, electron microscopy (with the chance to learn high resolution cryo-EM), tissue culture and cell biological approaches, including imaging of live and fixed cells, ‘super-resolution’ microscopy (STED, and PALM/STORM). This research is likely to have a large impact on our understanding of mitosis, and the role of ASPM in this fundamental process.

Funding Notes

White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology
4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2020:
• Research Council Stipend
• UK/EU Tuition Fees
• Conference and research funding

At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.

EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency to receive full studentship

Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

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

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