Altering mRNA metabolism by protein-mediated sequestration into RNA granules in response to cellular stress and aging (2018)

mRNA turnover is an essential process which controls and shapes gene expression. mRNA and proteins involved in mRNA degradation are concentrated in cytoplasmic foci termed RNA granules, which are highly induced upon multiple cellular stresses. The protein components of RNA granules play significant roles under stress and in aging. Our previous research has shown that the absence of mRNA sequestration in these structures can alter mRNAs' stability and abundance. We recently determined that one of the protein components of RNA granules significantly and specifically alters mRNA expression genome-wide due to changes in mRNA stability. The changes in expression are significant for specific classes of mRNA important for responding to stress.

Our goal is to obtain a general understanding of the role of sequestration of RNA binding proteins within larger cytoplasmic structures by examining a set of proteins found in RNA granules. Specifically, what is each protein's effect on gene expression when sequestered and is it specific or general? The effect of sequestration of these proteins will be assessed for global changes in mRNA abundance, stability and transcription. This will be combined with crosslinking and analysis of cDNA (CRAC) bound by the proteins both within RNA granules and free in the cytosol to obtain an inventory of mRNA populations. The results obtained from these studies will be examined with a focus on their physiological role to combat stress or premature aging.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research


Full fees and a stipend at standard RCUK rates


This School funded position, which covers fees and a stipend at standard RCUK rates, is open to Home / EU applicants.

Candidates with experience in molecular biology and an interest in gene expression are encouraged to apply.

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.


15 January 2018 23:59 (GMT)

How to apply

Please submit a formal application using our online application system at, including a CV, degree transcripts and certificates, statement of interest, IELTS certificate (if non-UK), and names of two academic referees.

On the application system use Programme of Study - PhD Biochemistry

Contact us

For enquiries about the application process contact Anna Izykowska (

For enquiries about the project contact Tracy Nissan (


Deadline to apply is 15 January 2018.

Project start date is 24 September 2018.


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
15 January 2018 23:59 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired