Here are some more details on the positions available in my lab. I'm looking for a postdoc and a PhD student.
The postdoc project focuses on systems-level regulation of gene expression by transcription factors during germination and early plant growth. A range of wet-bench and computational approaches will be applied, including plant molecular biology, high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq, RNA-seq) and bioinformatic analyses.
The advert is follows. The post is for 1 year in the first instance, renewal subject to performance and funding.
Two possible PhD projects are available. The first is closely related to the postdoc project above and will be highly collaborative. To give more detail, germination is a critical step in plant development; no other developmental program will proceed if it is not completed successfully. It occurs after detection of the correct environmental stimuli and involves extensive transcriptional reprogramming, described in several excellent studies (for examples, see http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/163/1/205.long, http://www.pnas.org/content/108/23/9709.abstract, http://bmcplantbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2229-11-105). We now wish to investigate the role of transcription factors in this process by examining the genes they bind directly and their effects on transcription. The goal is to link binding events to observable plant traits.
The second project investigates communication between shoots and roots of plants that regulates DNA methylation. Communication occurs between cells and tissues within plant bodies to co-ordinate fundamental growth and developmental processes. Information about the internal and external environment is integrated so that plants may respond appropriately to complex conditions. Small RNAs are one agent that plants use to communicate internally. These move predominantly from shoots to roots, regulating the epigenomes of root cells and protecting their genomes against disruption by transposable elements (see http://science.sciencemag.org/content/328/5980/872 and http://www.pnas.org/content/113/6/E801.abstract). We now wish to investigate the interactions between the environment and mobile DNA methylation.
Both PhD projects will incorporate aspects of high-throughput/next-generation sequencing, plant molecular biology and bioinformatics. They can be tailored to fit individual interests and the scholarship is for 3 years.
International applicants are welcome to all positions in my lab. Contact me for informal discussion and further information.
I was very pleased to publish a collaborative paper with Joe Ecker, Tom Hardcastle, David Baulcombe and several of his lab this week - available open access in PNAS. It describes our studies on shoot-root transmission of sRNAs in Arabidopsis thaliana that regulate root DNA methylation. A nice press release from the Salk Institute can be found here.