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MRes/PhD Studentship: Investigating the roles of a novel mRNA quality control enzyme in gene expression and telomere maintenance
- Ruth and Lionel Jacobson Trust
- Reference Code: CB065
RNA quality control includes the detection and removal of faulty protein-encoding messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that could otherwise generate nonfunctional or toxic proteins, as well as the surveillance of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). ncRNAs are produced throughout the whole genome and play vital roles in gene expression, gene silencing and telomere maintenance.
An important paradigm for mRNA quality control is the evolutionarily conserved nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) pathway, which detects and degrades mRNAs containing premature stop codons. Defects in NMD have been linked to 30% of all inherited human diseases (e.g. Duchenne muscular dystrophy and ?-thalassemia) and several cancers.
Our unpublished results suggest that Nmd4 is the yeast NMD endonuclease essential for the recognition and degradation of faulty mRNAs. Nmd4 also appears to function in chromatin remodelling and telomere capping, pointing towards important roles in genome stability and telomere maintenance, both of which are linked to ageing and cancer.
The project will involve a detailed characterisation of all molecular functions of Nmd4 in the model organism budding yeast. The successful candidate will acquire expertise in a range of biochemical, genetic and molecular biology approaches, taking advantage of a powerful high-throughput genetic screen as well as leading-edge RNA-protein crosslinking techniques and next generation sequencing. The results will provide a strong basis to clarify underlying molecular mechanisms of many inherited human diseases, ageing and cancer.
Name of the supervisor - Dr C Schneider, ICaMB
Sponsor - Ruth and Lionel Jacobson Trust
Duration of the award - 4 years (an MRes Programme in the Faculty of Medical Sciences followed by a three year PhD)
Value of the Award - the studentship is funded by the Ruth and Lionel Jacobson Trust. The award covers University fees at the Home/EU rate (band 2 only) and a stipend matched to the minimum Research Council recommended stipend of £13,590 (2011/12).
Eligibility - 1st or upper 2nd (2:1) class honours degree in a biological subject; self-motivated; creative and with clear potential to work independently.
How to Apply - you must complete the University's postgraduate application form. Select "Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) - Cell and Molecular Biosciences" as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a covering letter, a copy of your CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications. The covering letter should quote the title of the studentship and reference number CB065 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.
Closing date for applications - prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed.
For further details, please contact:
Dr C Schneider,
+44 (0) 191 222 7708.