PhD Studentship: The role of microRNAs in Neural Crest Development (WHEELER_U17DTP2)

University of East Anglia - School of Biomedical Sciences

Start Date: 1st October 2017

Supervisor: Dr Grant Wheeler

Project description:

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs around 22 nucleotides long. They affect gene expression either by blocking translation of genes into protein or by causing the degradation of the mRNAs that they bind to. They are involved in controlling various mechanisms during development by affecting gene expression at the post transcriptional level. Neural Crest cells (NC) contribute to the formation of many organs in the body such as the peripheral nervous system, the cartilage of the face and pigment cells. They are therefore of importance for normal development and errors in their development are the cause of many birth defects. Additionally, NC cell types are also implicated in cancer. We have preliminarily identified two miRNAs in Xenopus laevis (African Clawed Frog) that play a role in NC development. In the proposed project the student will use bioinformatic and molecular methods including techniques such as Ago-CLIP to identify the target mRNAs that these miRNAs bind to. These targets will be validated using loss of function experiments in Xenopus to determine their function in NC development.

Person specification:  Minimum entry 2:1

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,296 pa – 2016/7), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

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