2013 PhD Position in Molecular Biology – Primate piRNAs at IMB Mainz, Germany

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Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz is offering PhD research position in Molecular Biology – Primate piRNAs in Germany. The length of PhD position is of three years. Research positions cover competitive stipend, training opportunities. PhD position will start at 1st March 2014 or later. Applicants must have master or diploma and have a excellent communication skills. Online application must be submitted by 25th November 2013.

Study Subject (s): The position is awarded in Molecular Biology – Primate piRNAs at IMB Mainz, Germany
Course Level: This scholarship is for pursuing PhD research position at IMB Mainz, Germany
Scholarship Provider: Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz, Germany
Scholarship can be taken at: Germany

Eligibility: -Required qualifications
• Master or Diploma
• Motivation to solve complex biological problems
• Excellent communication skills.

Scholarship Open for Students of Following Countries: Applicants from Germany are eligible for this PhD research position.

Scholarship Description: A minority of mammalian piRNAs map to annotated TEs. Consequently the piRNA/PIWI function must go beyond a posttranscriptional TE defense with proposed functions of the piRNA/PIWI system triggering de novo DNA methylation of TEs in germ cells, being involved in heterochromatin formation and translational regulation and extending its activity beyond germ cells. Recently, a role for piRNAs in de novo methylation of an imprinted locus (Rasgrf1, mouse) was suggested. We will pinpoint the task sharing among the different PIWI paralogs, compile the genomic location of the individual piRNA encoding genes and check the methylation status of exemplarily chosen clusters of piRNAs. To this end rhesus monkey testes piRNA pools will be used and tested if specific subsets of piRNAs associate with specific PIWI-proteins using antibodies against the different PIWI proteins with subsequent paralog-specific piRNA library construction and deep sequencing (Illumina). Bioinformatic characterization on piRNA genomic location, length distribution, positional nucleotide frequency, base composition and possible ping-pong partners will be carried out using a small RNA analysis tool kit developed by D. Rosenkranz. Mapping of the piRNAs will also reveal to what extent piRNA genes individually distributed or organized in piRNA-clusters are bearing remnants of TEs. A sliding window approach will be used to in silico determine the density of piRNAs with different degrees of matching along a chromosome. We will exemplarily choose small regions with a statistically significant preponderance of matching non-TE piRNA sequences to check for the methylation status of the respective DNA in a subset of rhesus tissues. We hypothesize that, beside their role in TE defense, piRNAs outside the typical piRNA clusters might be connected to other fundamental cellular processes and phenomena that are linked to epigenetic modifications.

Number of awards offered: Not Known

Duration of award(s): Duration of award will be 3 years, with the possibility of extension.

What does it cover?
• The possibility to work on a cutting-edge project using state-of-the-art technology in a highly motivated research team
• A stimulating, diverse and international research environment
• Advanced training opportunities
• A competitive stipend.

Selection Criteria: Application to the International PhD Programme at IMB is a competitive process. The first step is to complete the online application form. Shortlisted students will be invited to Mainz for interviews.

Notification: Shortlisted students will be invited to Mainz for interviews.

How to Apply: The mode of applying is online.

Scholarship Application Deadline: The deadline for applications is 25th November 2013.

Further Official Scholarship Information and Application

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