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  Unravelling Context-Specific Hormonal Control of Gene Expression in Drosophila


   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

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  Dr M D Santos-Nunes, Dr Sebastian Kittelmann  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Oxford Brookes University

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences 

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

3 Year, full-time PhD studentship (Nigel Groome Studentship)

Closing date: 26 January 2024

Interviews: Tbc

Start date: September 2024

Project Title: Unravelling Context-Specific Hormonal Control of Gene Expression in Drosophila

Director of Studies: Dr Maria Daniela Santos Nunes 

Supervisors: Dr Sebastian Kittelmann, Dr Darren Williams (KCL)

Requirements:

Entry requirements: Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification. EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 6.5 to 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre.

The studentship requires you to undertake the equivalent of up to 6 hrs of teaching per week on average, during semester time, and to include preparation and marking (but no more than 20 hrs per week), and to participate in a teaching skills course without further remuneration.

Project Description: 

Hormones can trigger cell type-specific changes in gene regulation by binding to receptors that often also act as transcription factors. It is unclear how broadly expressed receptors can influence gene expression in a specific manner. I am seeking a PhD candidate to help answer this question. You will analyse two Drosophila hormones, Juvenile Hormone and Ecdysone, that are at the heart of insect development. Using tagged hormonal receptors, you will identify novel interaction partners, DNA binding sites, and target genes. A special focus will be on neuronal cells. You will be trained in confocal microscopy, microdissection, immunohistochemistry, CRISPR/Cas9, and sequencing methods like RNAseq, ATAC-seq, and CUT&RUN. You will also be able to conditionally degrade the tagged receptors, analyse co-localisation with super-resolution microscopy, or identify interaction partners with proximity labelling and mass-spectrometry. The ultimate line of research will depend on your interests. 

The Kittelmann lab provides a collaborative, stimulating, and supportive research environment. You will be a member of the Centre for Functional Genomics, a vibrant research centre focussed on the generation, curation, and analysis of large-scale genetic and genomic datasets. Regular meetings with the Oxford Brookes fly community, currently consisting of five research groups, ensure scientific exchange and help with problems during the project. The PhD will be co-supervised by Darren Williams at King’s College London who is an expert in hormonal control of insect nervous system development. Experiments on neuronal tissues will be carried out in his lab and regular meetings will ensure that the project is on track. 

For Project enquiries contact: [Email Address Removed]

Eligibility: Home UK/EU and International applicants

Bursary p.a: Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees (current 2023/24 bursary rate is £18,622)

University fees and bench fees: University fees and bench fees will be met by the University for the 3 years of the funded Studentship. Visa and associated costs are not funded. International applicants can visit https://www.brookes.ac.uk/students/isat/ for further information.

How to apply: Applicants should visit the project webpage to download instructions on how to submit an online application, under 'How to apply'. Enquiries about the application process can be sent to: [Email Address Removed]

This project is advertised competitively alongside our current Nigel Groome PhD studentship advertisements for Biological and Medical Sciences. Part time MPhil/PhD study will be exceptionally considered (Home Fee status applicants only).

Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

3 Year, full-time PhD studentship (Nigel Groome Studentship)
Eligibility: Home UK/EU and International applicants
Bursary p.a: Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees (current 2023/24 bursary rate is £18,622)
University fees and bench fees: University fees and bench fees will be met by the University for the 3 years of the funded Studentship. Visa and associated costs are not funded. International applicants can visit https://www.brookes.ac.uk/students/isat/ for further information.
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