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BBSRC MRes/PhD studentship: Biological Function of a Ubiquitous RNA Ligase_copy

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Newcastle University
28 June 2012
. .
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Earth, Environment & Energy

Further information

BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship - Genes Required for the Response to Reactive Oxygen Species and their Role in Lifespan

Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Reference Code: CB072


Prof B Morgan, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
Dr E Veal, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences

This studentship is sponsored by BBSRC as part of the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

Duration of the award
4 years (MRes Medical and Molecular Biosciences followed by a three year PhD

Project description
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) arise through normal metabolism or from the environment. At high levels ROS damage cell components such as DNA and protein and are associated with age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain neurodegenerative diseases and also with the ageing process.

An important defence against ROS is to activate the expression of antioxidants which provide protection. The use of dietary antioxidant supplements have had mixed success in providing protection against ROS-induced damage and this may be linked to the positive roles of ROS eg acting as signalling effectors. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to ensure appropriate levels of dietary antioxidant reach the site of ROS generation. Endogenous cellular defences allow cells to coordinate intracellular antioxidant production at appropriate levels and locations for effective defence. Hence, a possible route to clinical treatment against ROS-induced damage would be to stimulate endogenous ROS-induced signalling pathways at appropriate locations.

Moreover, it is possible that genetic variation within the human population influences these signalling pathways resulting in differences in lifespan and susceptibility to age-related diseases. However, there are significant gaps in our knowledge regarding mechanisms underlying ROS-induced sensing/signalling pathways, and their relationships to lifespan.

The aim of the project is to investigate the relationships between ROS sensing/signalling pathways and ageing, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the distantly related Schizosaccharomyces pombe as model organisms, utilising our expertise of ROS responses [Refs 1-3]. Project techniques will include genetics, biochemistry, cell imaging and molecular and cell biology-based approaches.

[1] Day AM, Brown JD, Taylor SR, Rand JD, Morgan BA, Veal EA (2012) Inactivation of a peroxiredoxin by hydrogen peroxide is critical for thioredoxin-mediated repair of oxidized proteins and cell survival. Mol. Cell Published online 12/1/12.
[2] Oláhová M, Taylor SR, Khazaipoul S, Wang J, Morgan BA, Matsumoto K, Blackwell TK, Veal EA (2008) A redox-sensitive peroxiredoxin that is important for longevity has tissue- and stress-specific roles in stress resistance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 19839-44.
[3] Veal EA, Day AM, Morgan BA (2007) Hydrogen peroxide sensing and signaling. Mol. Cell 26, 1-14.

Value of the Award and Eligibility
Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,590 (2011/12). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Person Specification
Candidates should have or expect to achieve a First Class or 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant science subject.

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 copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CB072.

Closing date for applications
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed

Further Information
Prof B Morgan
telephone: +44 (0) 191 222 7694

Newcastle University

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