This is one of several projects available on an MRC funded 4-year multi-disciplinary PhD programme in Human Genetics, Genomics and Disease at the MRC Human Genetics Unit (HGU), part of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) at the University of Edinburgh.
Epigenetic dysfunction is a fundamental hallmark of cancer that results in altered DNA methylation levels. It is associated with the repression of tumour suppressor genes such as BRCA1 but we don’t understand how these potential epimutations occur. We have recently developed synthetic epialleles, manufactured DNA with defined DNA methylation levels. This project will use these tools to probe how the cancer epigenome is programmed and identify the factors responsible for DNA methylation alterations in cancers. The student will become an expert in cutting-edge laboratory techniques including CRISPR genome and epigenome editing and gain experience in bioinformatics.