MRC IMPACT PhD studentship: Non-coding RNA Metabolism and Functions in Prader-Willi Syndrome

University of Birmingham - School of Biosciences

Position for a PhD student is available in the group of Dr Pawel Grzechnik at the University of Birmingham. The Grzechnik laboratory is located in the School of Biosciences and supported by a fellowship from the Wellcome Trust.  

The Integrative Midlands Partnership for Biomedical Training (IMPACT) is a MRC-funded doctoral training partnership between the universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham, and the Research Complex at Harwell. 

Project outline

The goal of the project is to understand transcriptional processes leading to neurodevelopmental disorder known as Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). PWS it is the most common syndromal cause of life-threatening obesity in humans. PWS patients display broad pathological spectrum including dysmorphic changes, behavioural problems and mild intellectual disabilities. The syndrome results from the loss of expression of various chromatin associated, non-coding RNAs synthesized from the PWS region. Thus, the aim of this project is to investigate how non-coding RNAs transcribed from the PWS locus affect global transcription and chromatin organization. Elucidating of molecular mechanisms of Prader-Willi syndrome will help to better understand roles for non-coding RNA in the development of the human body. The project will employ a wide variety of molecular and cell biology techniques including genome editing, RNA sequencing, chromosome conformation capture techniques and RNA and protein visualization in situ.


The Integrative Midlands Partnership for Biomedical Training (IMPACT) is a MRC-funded doctoral training. The stipend is at Research Council UK standard rate plus additional travel allowance in the first year.

Person specification

We are looking for a highly motivated, driven and enthusiastic person interested in RNA biology. Applicants should have a strong background in molecular biology and hold or expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree (or equivalent) in genetics/molecular biology/medicine or relevant field. 

Enquiries about the post should be directed to Dr Pawel Grzechnik (

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Midlands of England