Competitive three year full time studentship in the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Research title : Dissecting the molecular and structural mechanisms of basal body biogenesis in Trypanosoma brucei.
Main Supervisor Dr Sue Vaughan
Eligibility:Only open to UK/EU applicants (who must be permanently resident in UK/EU)
Start date: 19th September 2016
Bursary: £14057 pa for academic year 2016/17 & fees
Closing date: 21st February 2016
Applicants should be of the highest quality and capable of submitting a PhD thesis within 3 years. Requirement a good Honours degree (2.1 or equivalent).
EU applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate minimum score level 6 in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking with overall minimum score 7.0 issued since the 23rd April 2015 by an approved test centre please see web site below. Or an undergraduate degree awarded by a recognised UK university within the last two years.
Aims: The project aims to characterise some of the key molecules involved in basal body duplication and segregation.
Background: Basal bodies/centrioles form cilia and flagella in many eukaryotic organisms and are required for cell motility and cell signaling. In addition, centrioles are also essential for centrosome duplication and segregation to form the mitotic spindle during the cell cycle in mammalian cells. In proliferating cells, basal bodies/centrioles usually exist as pair with a defined lineage. The basal body/centriole pair is physically connected to one another and the formation and disassembly of connections between the pair are critical for basal body duplication and segregation. There is a good understanding of the molecular composition of basal bodies and centrioles through proteomic studies, however, a structural and molecular dissection of the connections between the basal body/centriole pair is lacking. The basal body cycle of the trypanosome is extremely well studied and its precise structure offer excellent opportunities to define these structural linkages throughout the cell cycle. The flagellum of T. brucei is critical for pathogenicity as cell motility is essential in all life cycle stages and basal body duplication and segregation is essential for cell division and cell morphogenesis. This has made it an important area of study.
The studentship will use a wide range of molecular techniques, including endogenous tagging and inducible RNAi as well as novel three dimensional microscopy techniques, such as SBF-SEM and cellular electron tomography to dissect role of putative basal body connection genes. This will give the student a wide range of cutting-edge molecular and microscopy techniques.
As part of your training you will be required to assist in demonstrating on undergraduate practicals during semesters without further remuneration.
Further information on the project please contact Dr Sue Vaughan
e-mail address [email protected]
How to apply
Please complete the Application Form, which you can download from
With your application please enclose a CV and scanned copy of your degree certificates and transcripts and letter from awarding body plus two signed academic references. Additionally if appropriate a valid IELTS Academic test score certificate.
Please carefully note that applications only accepted by e-mail to the following address: [email protected]
YOU MUST NOT SEND ANY QUERIES, APPLICATION, CV, OR OTHER DOCUMENTS VIA FINDAPHD
Sue Vaughan and Keith Gull (2016) Basal body structure and cell cycle-dependent biogenesis in Trypanosoma brucei. Cilia (in press).
Gluenz E, Wheeler RJ, Hughes L, Vaughan S (2015). Scanning and three-dimensional electron microscopy methods for the study of Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania mexicana flagella. Methods Cell Biol. 127:509-42.
Wheeler RJ, Scheumann N, Wickstead B, Gull K, Vaughan S (2015).Cytokinesis in Trypanosoma brucei differs between bloodstream and tsetse trypomastigote forms: implications for microtubule-based morphogenesis and mutant analysis. Mol Microbiol. 2013 Dec;90(6):1339-55.
Hughes L, Towers K, Starborg T, Gull K, Vaughan S. (2013). A cell-body groove housing the new flagellum tip suggests an adaptation of cellular morphogenesis for parasitism in the bloodstream form of Trypanosoma brucei. J Cell Sci. 2013 Dec 15;126(Pt 24):5748-57.