[Celegans] EU-EST (Early Stage Training) Fellowships leading to a PhD in C. elegans biology

M. J. Fisher fishermj at liverpool.ac.uk
Tue Feb 28 10:40:34 EST 2006


The following projects, leading to PhD, are now available, for EU residents 
only (excluding the UK), under the EU-EST (Early Stage Training) Marie 
Curie Fellowship scheme. Full details, and how to apply, at: 
<http://www.liv.ac.uk/~dgfernig/molfun/>http://www.liv.ac.uk/~dgfernig/molfun/


1. Functional analysis of protein kinase-A catalytic subunit (PK-A 
C-subunit)isoforms in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans
The cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PK-A) plays key roles in many 
aspects of cellular activity. We have used bioinformatics, functional 
genomics and molecular approaches to show that, in C. elegans, there is an 
unprecedented structural diversity of PK-A catalytic-subunit isoforms. This 
diversity arises as a result of alternative splicing of transcripts from 
the kin-1 gene. The purpose of this project is to explore the functional 
contributions of these variants to intracellular signalling. We will use 
RNAi to determine the phenotypic consequences of suppression of specific 
isoforms. This approach will be complemented by an analysis of the ability 
of transfection with recombinant proteins to rescue phenotype in knock-out 
organisms. We will then use isoforms, associated with the most interesting 
phenotypes, in studies of protein phosphorylation and mass spectrometric 
identification of phosphoproteins.

2. Phytosterol dealkylation in C. elegans
Most invertebrate species cannot synthesise sterols de novo and must obtain 
them from the diet. Since phytophagous species obtain 24-alkylated plant 
sterols, which cannot support normal growth and development, they are 
dealkylated to cholesterol. The four steps in this pathway have been 
primarily elucidated in phytophagous insect species, but have also been 
demonstrated in C. elegans. The availability of genome-wide sequences and 
post-genomic technologies, now make it timely to isolate the encoding genes 
from C. elegans. This will then allow identification of orthologous genes 
in phytophagous insect pests and plant-parasitic nematodes and provide 
novel targets for new strategies of control. The project will involve, 
bioinformatics and molecular modelling, microarray, RNAi and analysis of 
phenotype, quantitative RT-PCR, heterologous protein expression, GC/LC-mass 
spectrometry of sterols, 'model/species hopping'.

If you:

1.are a citizen of an EU country (but not the UK)
2.reside outside the UK
3.have a first degree in the biological sciences or a related area
4.do not hold a PhD
5.have less than 4 years research experience
6.have command of scientific English

you are likely to be eligible for a Fellowship.



Dr M. J. Fisher,
School of Biological Sciences,
University of Liverpool
Crown street,
Liverpool,
L69 7ZB.
United Kingdom.

email: fishermj at liv.ac.uk




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