BBSRC DTP PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences -Dna2 and Chromosome Stability

Newcastle University

Value of award: 100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (17/18) (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Number of awards: 1

Start date and duration: 24 September 2018 for 3 years.

Application closing date: 12 January 2018.


The aim of this project is to understand how Dna2, an important and evolutionarily conserved protein, functions at telomeres. Telomeres, the ends of linear chromosomes, are essential for genetic stability and protecting against ageing and cancer. The main function of telomeres is protect chromosome ends from nucleases, helicases and other DNA damage responses. Dna2 is itself a nuclease/helicase, with many functions during DNA replication and DNA repair. The Lydall group have recently obtained evidence in budding yeast that the most important function of Dna2 is at telomeres, rather than elsewhere in the genome. This studentship is to clarify what Dna2 does at telomeres.

The student will use budding yeast as a model system to answer. What substrate does Dna2 engage with? Does Dna2 work on the leading strand, the lagging strand or both? Is Dna2 active at most terminal telomeric DNA, or more internally? Work in yeast will be complemented with genetic experiments in nematode worms to determine if genetic interactions observed in yeast are conserved in worms. Finally, biochemical and biophysical experiments using proteins and nucleic acids in vitro, will be used to address how Dna2 interacts with telomeric nucleic acids and proteins.

It is suggested that during the first six months of the project you will rotate through each of the three supervisor’s labs, spending approximately 2 months in each, performing distinct small projects. This should ensure that right at the start of the project you develop an appreciation of the differing and complementary approaches that can be useful for understanding the function of Dna2 at eukaryotic telomeres. You will then, most likely, join David’s lab for the bulk of the PhD.

Please do not hesitate to email David Lydall if you have any questions.

Web pages of the three supervisors are below in the 'Name of Supervisor(s)' section.

Sponsor: BBSRC DTP

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor David Lydall, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University
Dr Owen Davies, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University
Professor Alan Morgan, Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Liverpool University

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent, in a subject relating to biology, including: genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology. A further qualification such as an MRes is advantageous.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

How to apply

Please complete the online BBSRC DTP application form and your CV and Covering Letter.


Please email Professor David Lydall, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University.

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:



Northern England