BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship - How do Viruses Trick the Ribosome into Making 2 Polypeptides from a Single Open Reading Frame?
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Reference Code: CB069
Name of the supervisors
Dr J Brown, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
Dr Z Chrzanowska-Lightowlers , Institute for Ageing and Health
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)
Finding routes to combat viruses that cause human disease or affect agriculturally important animals and plants is an important bioscience research goal. In this project a key feature of gene expression common to a range of viruses of economic importance (e.g. foot and mouth disease) and others that affect human health will be studied. This is the ‘2A reaction’, an unusual translational event driven by a short peptide encoded by these viruses. The peptide acts from within the ribosome, causing it to ‘miss’ a peptide bond during protein synthesis, and separating the nascent chain into two. This remarkable activity has led to extensive use of 2A as a tool for protein co-expression, which extends to clinical trials in gene therapy. Conversely, understanding the 2A reaction may lead to defining routes to inhibiting it and thus antiviral strategies that may be efficacious against the range of viruses that use it for their gene expression. Our aim then is to define how the 2A reaction works, and during this project a variety of both genetic and in vitro biochemical approaches will be used. This will include in vitro translation and analysis of ribosomes that are carrying out the 2A reaction. The opportunity may also arise to examine ribosome-2A complexes using techniques such as cyro-electron microscopy.
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.
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 CB069.
Closing date for applications
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed
Dr J Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0) 191 222 7470