PhD position (RNA Biology, Ageing & Disease, Epigenetics & Nuclear Dynamics): RNA processing in neural stress memory (m/f/d)
Thinking of doing your PhD in the Life Sciences? The International PhD Programme (IPP) on Gene Regulation, Epigenetics & Genome Stability is offering talented students the chance to work at the cutting edge of research. As an IPP PhD student, you will join a community of exceptional scientists working on diverse topics ranging from how organisms age or how our DNA is repaired, to how epigenetics regulates cellular identity or neural memory.
Activities and responsibilities:
In the fields of “RNA Biology”, “Ageing & Disease” and “Epigenetics & Nuclear Dynamics”, the IPP research group of Prof Christof Niehrs offers the following PhD project:
Understanding how we learn and store memory is fundamental, especially in the context of brain dysregulations, such as mental retardation, cognitive decline with age and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Memory consolidation is a crucial phase in memory formation and requires behaviorally-induced alterations in the availability of functional mRNAs and subsequent translation.
We found the stress response gene Gadd45a regulates aversive memory formation by specifically regulating mRNAs coding for synaptic plasticity proteins (Aparisi Rey et al., 2019). The majority of Gadd45a-regulated transcripts contain an extended 3´ untranslated region (3´UTR), which is considered a central hub for post-transcriptional regulation including translational regulation, and translocation to specific cellular compartments such as the synaptic sites. The key findings we have obtained so far (Aparisi Rey et al., 2019) are:
PhD project: RNA processing in neural stress memory
In this project, we aim to investigate the mechanisms underlying the regulation of mRNA stability in memory consolidation. You will investigate the physical interaction between Gadd45a and neuronal target RNAs and their consequences for target mRNA/protein localization within the neuron. You will apply RNA-seq and Omics approaches for analysis of Gadd45a targets, followed by comprehensive bioinformatics analysis of the target RNAs identified. Using neuronal cultures, you will analyze the role of 3’UTR length in synaptic mRNA localization and transport using luciferase-reporter assays. You will test whether the localization of synaptic mRNAs and their encoded proteins are affected in Gadd45a deficient neurons using confocal fluorescence microscopy.
If you are interested in this project, please select Christof Niehrs_Gadd45a as your group preference in the IPP application platform.
What we offer:
Are you an ambitious, young scientist looking to push the boundaries of science while interacting with colleagues from multiple disciplines and cultures? Then the IPP is your opportunity to give your scientific career a flying start!
All you need is:
For more details on the projects offered and how to apply via our online form, please visit https://www.imb.de/phd
The deadline for registration is 26 November 2021. Interviews will take place online 17-19 January 2022.
Starting date: 1 March 2022 – 1 September 2022
Tagged as: Life Sciences
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