Germline stem cells are essential for the survival of organisms by giving rise to offspring. Gene expression changes within the germ cells can affect embryonic development and in some organisms, such changes are transgenerationally inherited. RNA is at the centre of many gene regulatory processes. There are currently more than 150 diverse chemical modifications found on RNA and a greater number of proteins are required for their synthesis and recognition. Recent discoveries have shown that RNA modifications can be dynamically regulated and they have been implicated in embryonic development, longevity, neurological diseases and cancers in humans and in animal models.
How do RNA modifications regulate gene expression in the germ cells? Our RNA (epi)genetics laboratory addresses this broad question using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an animal model.
The PhD project will aim to identify the genetic interactors of an RNA methyltransferase involved in germ cell proliferation, mitosis/meiosis and sperm/oocyte differentiation. The project will combine powerful C. elegans genetics with CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis, RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry. This project will lead to novel discoveries in a new area of biology that will influence research in multiple areas (cell cycle, stem cells and development).
We offer a multidisciplinary and supportive environment. The student will have a wide range of support to learn different techniques and will interact with national and international laboratories working on RNA modifications. The student will attend conferences, seminars and our annual laboratory retreat. The student will be given internal and external mentorship and career development support. Our new RNA (epi)genetics laboratory is funded by a prestigious UK Research and Innovation funding and provides generous resources and instruments.
The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to the UK and international candidates for entry in 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.
You can visit the Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership pages for further information on eligibility and the application process.
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.