The human placenta has a distinct hypomethylated genome compared with somatic tissues, which may ultimately result in a unique genome architecture profile. Understanding the spatial organisation of chromatin in a cell is essential to understanding what regulatory regions drive gene expression in this developmentally important tissue. In this project we will employ chromosome conformation capture techniques in different enriched placenta cell populations to reveal unique enhancer interactions and alternative promoter usage. Specific loci with interesting epigenetic profiles will be subsequently modified using dCas9-fusions to determine the role of individual physical contacts on driving placenta-specific transcription.
We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious student who is keen to unite both laboratory and computation skills to develop and apply 3C-based protocols to understand how physical chromatin contacts influences gene regulation in the human placenta. The project is a joint Norwich Research Park venture between the groups of Dr David Monk & Professor Andrea Munsterberg at the University of East Anglia and Dr Wilfried Hearty & Dr Iain Macaulay at the Earlham Institute. In addition to the generic skills training that is provided through the UEA/EI PhD BBSRC NRPDTP programme, the student will be supported by an excellent infrastructure and will work closely with experts in the placental biology and (epi)genomics. This diverse and stimulating environment will allow a creative and talented student to develop key skills in preparation for a successful career in research or industry. All candidates are strongly advised to contact the PI to discuss the projects prior to formal application.
The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to UK and international candidates for entry October 2022 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship placement (PIPS) during their study. The placement offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.
This project has been shortlisted for funding by the NRPDTP programme. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Tuesday 25th January, Wednesday 26th January and Thursday 27th January 2022.
Visit our website for further information on eligibility and how to apply.
Our partners value diverse and inclusive work environments that are positive and supportive. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.