|Funding for:||UK Students|
|Funding amount:||From £15,609 UKRI standard stipend rate (for 2021/22) per annum for 3.5 years|
|Placed On:||13th May 2022|
|Closes:||6th June 2022|
The assembly of membraneless organelles is emerging as a fundamental paradigm for many cellular functions. Among these, stress granules (SGs) play a central role in health and disease by concentrating proteins and RNAs, driving adaption to stressful conditions, including viral infection. SGs can be either cytoprotective or pro-death, anti-viral or pro-viral. SGs are proposed to act as part of larger coordinated waves of biocondensates assembly in the nucleus – paraspeckles which impact on splicing, and interact with cytoplasmic P-bodies involved in RNA decay. Despite this, the role of biocondensates in infection remains poorly understood. Because SGs and paraspeckles can have anti-viral functions, or promote replication, viruses provide a unique model to elucidate biocondensate functions. At Surrey, Professor Locker has already made fundamental advances in understanding SG function. With its nuclear replication and Professor West’s work at Sussex showing it repurposes cellular RNA binding proteins to regulate gene expression, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) provides an excellent to dissect the role of biocondensates during viral infection.
To understand how biocondensates contribute to EBV infection you will:
Determining how biocondensates direct specialised functions will establish new rules governing host responses to infection. This improved understanding of the role of phase separation during viral infection could inform novel therapeutic approaches.
This is a collaborative project between the Universities of Surrey and Sussex. Nicolas Locker is a Professor of Virology at Surrey with interests at the interface between RNA biology and virology. His work focuses on understanding how viruses manipulates cellular stress responses during infection to favour replication. At Sussex, Michelle West is a Professor of Tumour Virology with over 20 yrs of experience in dissecting the molecular virology of Epstein Barr Virus, and exploring the interface between cancer biology and virology. She will provide expertise in the viral and cellular models required for this project, and access to outstanding imaging facilities at Sussex.
Starting in October 2022.
Open to UK students.
A good honours degree (upper second) in an appropriate discipline. See our PhD programme page for details.
How to apply
Apply via the Biosciences and Medicine PhD programme page.
Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.
The studentship includes: UKRI standard stipend rate (£15,609 for 2021/22) per annum for 3.5 years, coverage of standard home student fees, research fees of £27,140 to support consumables, access charges and travel for the PhD student. Funding for 3.5 years. Funded by the University of Surrey Doctoral Training Programme in Pathogens and Host Defenses.
Monday 6 June 2022
Contact Nicolas Locker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Type / Role: