PhD position: Mechanisms determining the dynamic localisation of ribosomes in neurons

This job offer has expired

    The University of Sheffield
    Biological sciencesBiology
    Biological sciencesOther
    Medical sciencesOther
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    23/01/2019 17:00 - Europe/London
    United Kingdom › Sheffield

Project: This studentship is focused on understanding the molecular basis of ribosome biogenesis and localisation in neurons, with the aim of opening up new avenues for intervention in disease. You will be part of a brand new, multidisciplinary collaboration between the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN)and the Sheffield Institute for Nucleic Acids (SInFoNiA) at the University of Sheffield. 

Neurons form complex extended cellular structures. For example, motoneurons, have cell bodies in the spinal cord whilst extending axons down to the muscles of hands and feet. It is now established that axons use local translation, allowing rapid alteration of the proteome in response to environmental changes during development or injury. However, the local translation machinery must itself reach the distal axon using axonal transport mechanisms. For a metre long axon this can be many days or even weeks and defects in transport are observed in many neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and ALS. There can be no local translation without ribosomes; the goal of this project is to understand for the first time how ribosomes are localised to axons.

This project represents a truly unique opportunity to integrate cutting edge in vitro models of neuronal systems with biochemical & biophysical approaches to explore the molecular basis of ribosome biogenesis and localisation in neurons. The two research groups linked to this project encompass unique expertise in both ribosome and neuronal cell biology, creating a new opportunity to approach this fundamental unanswered question. You will be trained in advanced, real-time imaging and analysis, cell biological (primary and stem cell derived neuronal culture) and biochemical approaches, including state of the art next generation RNA-Protein crosslinking strategies (e.g. CLIP and CRAC). There is also potential to develop super-resolution (PALM/STORM) and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing approaches to support the project. This research will provide fundamental insights into axonal transport, with translational outcomes for neurodegenerative diseases. 

Who: Creative individuals with an eye for detail are encouraged to apply. As an interdisciplinary project, applications from people from a diverse range scientific backgrounds are welcomed e.g. cell biology, biophysics, neuroscience, biochemistry, chemistry, structural biology and biomedical sciences.

Where: The successful applicant will be based in the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience and the Sheffield Institute for Nucleic Acids, whilst working closely with both labs involved. You will be supervised by Dr Alison Twelvetrees (Dept of Neuroscience, Sheffield), and Dr Emma Thomson (Dept of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Sheffield).

Award Details: This project is fully funded for 3.5 years through the University Post Graduate Research Committee Scholarship Scheme for the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health. This funding covers fees and stipend at the current Home/EU rate. Overseas students may apply but will need to fund the fee differential between the Home and Overseas rate from another source.

Eligibility: To qualify applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. All applications are scored blindly based on merit.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility: To qualify applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. All applications are scored blindly based on merit.

Offer Requirements

    Biological sciences: Bachelor Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent
Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
The University of Sheffield
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire
S10 2HQ
Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, 385a Glossop Road

EURAXESS offer ID: 364742


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