School of Life Sciences

Genome Damage and Stability Centre

looking for colonies of cells high performance image microscopy preparing for an experiment examining a reaction in a small tube plating out cells into dishes for incubation


The GDSC is a research centre investigating the responses of cells to
genome damage and their relationship to cancer and other aspects
of human disease

The centre provides a dynamic and collaborative environment for state-of-the-art research and is supported by a variety of funding agencies including the BBSRC, CR-UK, MRC and the Wellcome Trust.

For more information about individual group leaders, and the types of research taking place in the centre, please see 'Research groups' tab at the top of the page.

Job Opportunities

Structural and functional studies of human WRN (2018)

Project Description

Each of the five known RecQ helicases play essential roles in maintaining the stability of the human genome. WRN is a large multifunctional enzyme that is thought to resolve DNA structures that can arise as products of homologous recombination, replication fork stalling or other DNA repair processes. In human, mutations within the WRN gene are associated with disease, either Werner syndrome where affected individuals rapidly age (progeria) or an increased prevalence of colorectal cancer. However, despite its relevance to human health, there is a paucity of structural data for the WRN protein. This is particularly important, as there is considerable interest in generating small molecular inhibitors of RecQ-family helices (including WRN) both as tool compounds – to enhance functional studies of WRN at the cellular level – and as potential therapies for the treatment of cancer. The principal aim of this project will be to determine the structure of human WRN and its complexes with DNA and other DNA repair proteins, by X-ray crystallography and cryoEM techniques. A range of biochemical and biophysical assays will also be developed in order to facilitate the prosecution of WRN as a therapeutic target. 
The successful applicant will join the Genome Damage and Stability Centre, an internationally renowned Institute carrying out research on the response of cells to DNA damage and to genome instability. We provide a stimulating and supportive research and training environment. Our expertise covers a wide range of experimental systems. Further information about our research can be obtained from our website at: 

How to apply: 
Please submit a formal application using our online application system at:, including a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, statement of interest and names of two academic referees. On the application system use Programme of Study – PhD in Genome Stability. In the funding section chose "I have/will be applying for funding" which will cover maintenance and UK/EU fees. 

For informal enquiries about the project contact Antony Oliver (
For enquiries about the application process contact Anna Izykowska ()

Funding Notes

This 4 year School funded PhD studentship, which covers fees and a stipend at standard RCUK rates, is open to Home / EU applicants. Ideal candidates will have a strong background in Biochemistry, Biophysics or Molecular Biology with additional experience of protein expression and purification. Eligible candidates will have recently received an MSc and/or a First or high 2:1 BSc in a relevant subject. Candidates for whom English is not their first language will require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in any section.

Closes: Friday, July 13, 2018


Employment opportunites may be found at



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Genome Damage and Stability Centre

RT @laurencepearl: Our cryoEM study of the human RPAP3 HSP90-cochaperone complex is out in @NatureComms anoth……

RT @SussexUniStaff: Dr Marie-Fabrice Gasasira Uwamahoro, a research technician @GDSC_Sussex, organised a science festival in her homela……

RT @KatyPetherick: Very pleased that the @SussexLifeSci Public Engagement webpage is now live, featuring information on our engagement……

RT @SussexLifeSci: Dr Gasasira, a #research technician @GDSC_Sussex, recently returned to #Rwanda to help inspire a new generation of……

RT @antonywoliver: Today, our visiting applicants solved a murder mystery through the power of DNA fingerprinting — my first time lead……

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