PhD Studentship: How Proteins Bind Unusual DNA Structures (WALLER_U18DTP1)

University of East Anglia - School of Pharmacy

Start Date: 1st October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Dr Zoe Waller

Project description: Think you know the structure of DNA? Think again. It is often assumed that DNA exists only as the iconic Watson-Crick “twisted ladder” double helix; but it can actually adopt many different types of structures. These “alternative” structures may play a role in gene expression (whether genes are switched on or off) and also in the development and progression of genetic diseases. Compared to the classical double helix, much less is known about these structures, how and when they may form in the genome. Potentially, targeting these alternative DNA structures could allow for specific interventions and therapeutics for genetic diseases such as cancer or diabetes.

This PhD project will involve investigating naturally occurring proteins which bind these alternative DNA structures. The project will be highly interdisciplinary and will involve training in a wide range of techniques, from expressing and purifying proteins, to characterisation of their interaction with DNA and where they bind in the human genome. Led by Dr Zoë Waller and Dr Andrew Gates, there will be the opportunity to work using different facilities in the schools of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences and also further in the Norwich Research Park.

The student will have, or expect to obtain a first class, 2(i) or equivalent Honours degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacy or a related area.

Informal enquiries are welcomed: please contact Dr Zoë Waller (z.waller@uea.ac.uk)  or Dr Andrew Gates (a.gates@uea.ac.uk).

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk

Person specification: Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa – 2017/8), 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: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England