The aim of this project is to investigate the role of Cryptochrome proteins in the circadian timing machinery of mammals. Particular emphasis will be placed on their putative role as magnetoreceptors. Techniques to be applied include real-time bioluminescent and fluorescent imaging of circadian gene expression, cell and brain slice organotypic culture, recombinant protein biochemistry, targetted mutagenesis, virally mediated, optogenetic control of cellular activity, and proteomic analysis of circadian transcriptional complexes.
How do Cryptochrome proteins behave within the cell over the 24 hour circadian cycle, what is their role in transcriptional regulation and how are their functions affected by magnetic fields?
The position will suit an industrious, highly motivated molecular neurobiologist/ biochemist with a track record of academic excellence. The successful applicant will work within an internationally renowned research group, headed by Dr Michael Hastings FRS, investigating various aspects of circadian timekeeping. The group is supported by the world-class facilities of MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. As a PhD student at LMB, the student will also become a member of a Cambridge College and be registered at the University of Cambridge.
Reppert, S.M., and Weaver, D.R. (2002). Coordination of circadian timing in mammals. Nature 418, 935-941 Hastings MH, Reddy AB, Maywood ES. (2003) A clockwork web: Circadian timing in brain and periphery, in health and disease. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 4: 649- 661.
Gegear, R.J., Casselman, A., Waddell, S., and Reppert, S.M. (2008). Cryptochrome mediates light-dependent magnetosensitivity in Drosophila. Nature 454, 1014-1018.
Gegear, R.J., Foley, L.E., Casselman, A., and Reppert, S.M. (2010). Animal cryptochromes mediate magnetoreception by an unconventional photochemical mechanism. Nature 463, 804-807.
Godinho, S.I., Maywood, E.S., Shaw, L., Tucci, V., Barnard, A.R., Busino, L., Pagano, M., Kendall, R., Quwailid, M.M., Romero, M.R., et al. (2007). The after-hours mutant reveals a role for Fbxl3 in determining mammalian circadian period. Science 316, 897-900.
3 years PhD position for UK or EU national
Available for October 2011 Entrance
Fully funded for Fees and Maintenance at standard MRC (Home Student) rates
Application deadline: 31 May 2011
Interviews: To be held during week beginning 13 June 2011. The successful applicant will need to apply to the University of Cambridge no later than 30 June 2011 once the PhD position has been confirmed: instructions will be given at time of PhD offer.
How to apply:
For further details and instructions on how to apply, please see the following webpage:
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