BBSRC MRes/PhD Studentship Cyanobacterial Transcription Machinery

Reference Code: CB103


Name of the Supervisors
Dr Y Yuzenkova, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences   
Professor J Errington, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences  
Dr K Waldron, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences  

This studentship is sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

Duration of the Award
Four years (MRes Biosciences followed by a three-year PhD).

Project Description
Transcription is the first stage of gene expression, which requires concerted action of main enzyme – RNA polymerase (RNAP) and transcription factors. In sharp contrast with many pro- and eukaryotic species, cyanobacterial transcription machinery remains largely uncharacterised, despite extreme ecological and industrial importance of this group of organisms. Cyanobacteria live everywhere where sunlight is available fixing carbon and producing 30% of atmospheric oxygen as by-product; some species convert atmospheric nitrogen into digestible forms; bio-engineered cyanobacteria are promising producers of biofuels and other industrial compounds.

The unique features of cyanobacterial transcription include the unusually low rate of RNA synthesis, which must slow down all cellular processes, and the absence of transcription factors essential in other bacteria. How cyanobacteria cope with such deficiencies or compensate for them, remains unclear. Furthermore it is not clear which mechanisms cyanobacteria use to terminate transcription. The project will investigate these unique features of cyanobacterial transcription. This research will bring new insights into mechanisms of transcription in general, and may make an impact in the area of biotechnology.

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We will apply a wide range of molecular biology, biochemical, biophysical and cutting-edge microscopy techniques. The laboratory is located in the newly built Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, fitted with the state-of-the-art equipment. The Centre brings together leading scientists in the field of biology of bacterial cell and provides unique scientific environment.

Value of the Award and Eligibility
Depending on how you meet the BBSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. A full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £13,726 (2013/14). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Person Specification
Candidates should have or expect to achieve a first-class or upper-second-class Honours degree in a relevant science subject. Previous laboratory experience is essential.

How to Apply
You must complete the University’s postgraduate application form selecting ‘Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – Cell and Molecular Biosciences’ as the programme of study. Once you have selected the programme, please insert the studentship/partnership reference number CB103. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CB103.

Closing Date for Applications
The post will remain open until a suitable applicant is appointed. Early application is advised.

Further Information
For further details, please contact: 
Dr Y Yuzenkova
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3227

For more information and to submit an application, please use the ‘Apply’ button below.

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