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New regulators of cell division

Supervisory Team:


Dr Marcin Przewloka
School of Biological Sciences (SoBS)
University of Southampton


Dr Helfrid Hochegger
Genome Damage and Stability Centre (GDSC)
University of Sussex


Project Summary


During this study, a PhD student will analyse new regulators of mitosis. This very exciting research project leads to the discovery of new factors that guard genome stability and cell integrity.

Mitotic cell division is a critically important stage of the cell cycle. A complete reorganisation of the cytoskeleton and changes in cell morphology are followed by the precise partition of the genomic material and subsequent formation of two daughter cells. Multiple mechanisms tightly control this complicated process in order to avoid any problems that, should they occur, could lead to cell death or severe aberrations, such as seen in cancer cells.

From an initial proteomics-based screen (bioRxiv: 501684) a list of potential new mitotic regulators emerged, whose molecular function will be now investigated as a part of this project. This is going to be a truly collaborative study. Initial work will be done at the Genome Damage and Stability Centre (University of Sussex, Brighton), where the student will perform a small-scale siRNA-based screen for mitotic phenotypes in human cells. During this phase of the project, the trainee will learn about the RNAi approach, high-throughput automated microscopy and other fluorescence-based imaging methods. After identifying the most promising genes and characterising mitotic phenotypes, the student will move to the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton, where he/she will investigate the molecular role of these candidates in cell physiology, specifically during mitosis. Methodologies that will help to achieve the goals of this study include CRISPR-based genome editing, time-lapse microscopy and protein-protein interaction assays.


We are looking for an ambitious PhD candidate who is interested in learning and employing a wide range of contemporary molecular cell biology approaches with the aim to uncover fundamental mechanisms behind the regulation of cell division. We offer excellent facilities and the research-intense, collaborative environment, which will support the student’s goals at multiple levels. The student will be embedded in well-established postgraduate programmes already existing at the University of Sussex and University of Southampton.

This project is a part of the BBSRC-funded South Coast Biosciences (SoCoBio) Doctoral Training Partnership, which is a collaborative, cross-institutional programme. All interested students are strongly encouraged to learn more through our websites and to apply. EU students can apply.