We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student interested in zebrafish brain development, RNA metabolism, gene editing and transcriptomic analyses to join the Nikolaou Lab at the University of Bath. The deadline for applications is 31st January 2021. The anticipated start date for this project is early October 2021. Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or good Upper Second-Class Honours degree (or the equivalent). A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous. UK and EU candidates (with settled or pre-settled status in the UK) applying for this project will be considered for a University Research Studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support grant of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,285 in 2020-21) for a period of up to 3.5 years.
Brief description of the project:
Regulation of pre-mRNA splicing plays a significant role in neurons by diversifying the proteome and modulating gene expression during development and in response to physiological cues. Although most pre-mRNA processing reactions are thought to occur in the nucleus, numerous RNA splicing regulators are also found in neurites, however, very little is known about their extra-nuclear functions. Our recent work showed for the first time that the non-nuclear pool of a major spliceosome component (SNRNP70) modulates the production of alternative spliced mRNA isoforms essential for motor connectivity and protects transcripts from degradation.
This project aims to investigate further the extra-nuclear activities of SNRNP70 in the context of neuronal connectivity in zebrafish. The ease of genetic manipulations together with the translucency and small size of their offspring allows us to monitor neural cell behaviour and function and observe changes in neuronal connectivity. We will use a range of genetic tools, including transgenic over-expression of cytoplasmic SNRNP70 and nuclear-only SNRNP70 zebrafish knock-in lines to establish developmental functions attributed to the cytoplasmic pool of SNRNP70. The results from this project will contribute to our understanding of how local RNA metabolism in axons contributes to the normal development of neural connections in the brain.
How to apply:
If you are interested, please apply by following the link on FindAPhD website: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/the-functions-of-extra-nuclear-rna-splicing-regulators-during-neuronal-connectivity-in-zebrafish/?p128252.
Informal inquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Nikolas Nikolaou (firstname.lastname@example.org)