You are here

The RNA processing events that control germ-line cell-fate decisions

Our mothers programed the first decisions of our lives by mRNA dumping: the regulated translation of this maternal transcriptome controls the first cell-fate divisions of life. Timed switches in gene expression programs are integral to development and are frequently de-regulated in disease. For example, the reversible switch of cells from pluripotency to fate-committed, involves a suite of the now well-known transcriptional reprogramming factors. Post-transcriptional control is also recognised as playing a major role, as is exemplified by the microRNA that silence mRNA expression in multiple normal and disease transitions. Another critical regulatory step, but one that is the far less well understood, is the process of re-activation of silent mRNA to trigger their translation. Cytoplasmic polyadenylation is used by metazoans to stimulate translation of pre-existing, but silent mRNA at precise times in development and/or places. The overarching intent of our research in this area is to clarify the mechanistic detail of cytoplasmic polyadenylation in mammalian germ-cell biology. Our hypothesis being that: the germline transcriptome is activated by cytoplasmic mRNA polyadenylation, through conserved RNA-binding proteins that control the time and the place for translation
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
RNA processing, RNA metabolism, RNA-seq, single-cell RNA-seq, Bioinformatics, Stem-cells, Germ-cells, Reproduction & Fertility, NGS, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Biomedicine Discovery Institute (School of Biomedical Sciences) » Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Available options 
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Year 1: 
Physical location 
Clayton Campus

Want to apply for this project? Submit an Expression of Interest by clicking on Contact the researcher.