Understanding the rules of life

Bioscience for an integrated understanding of health

Category: Standard Studentships

Investigating a novel relationship between proteins regulating cell division and DNA repair

Project No. 2453


Primary Supervisor

Dr Marcin Przewloka – University of Southampton


Dr Jerome Korzelius – University of Kent

Dr Salah Elias – University of Southampton


In this investigation, we explore recent scientific advancements that unveil the molecular mechanisms of key cellular processes, providing insights into regulation of mitosis and DNA repair.

It is becoming increasingly clear that proteins exhibit multifaceted roles under different circumstances. In our recent study (Fankhaenel et al., Nature Communications 14 (1), 151), we shed light on a previously unidentified instance of protein interactions. We have uncovered that certain proteins responsible for the regulation of the mitotic spindle, integral to cell division, consistently co-purify with those responsible for DNA repair and recombination. In the context of this PhD project, the prospective student will embark on a comprehensive investigation of these interactions. This endeavour will encompass characterizing the biochemical properties of the protein complexes and subsequently elucidating their biological significance through the application of innovative disruptive biology methods and advanced imaging techniques. Consequently, this study will incorporate both descriptive and mechanistic components.

The PhD candidate will employ a diverse range of methodologies, including proteomics, transcriptomics, biochemistry, cell biology, and advanced fluorescence imaging techniques. Initially, they will explore the intricate network of interacting proteins and subsequently disrupt the binding of the uncovered components to assess the impact of their depletion and/or mutation on cellular physiology, including mitosis and DNA repair, across various stages of the cell cycle. This methodology will also entail the analysis of extensive datasets, a common approach in contemporary state-of-the-art multi-omics and modern cell imaging pipelines.

The SoCoBio training program offers a nurturing environment for PhD students to develop a comprehensive set of research-oriented and “soft” skills. The supervisory team will guide the PhD candidate towards becoming an independent researcher, empowering them to achieve their professional aspirations.

We are seeking ambitious and highly motivated candidates who aspire to contribute to fundamental research while directly advancing our understanding of the mechanisms behind aging and carcinogenesis.

Science Diagram