PhD Position in Genome Biology
Starting date: June-August 2017 or as agreed
This fully funded 4-year PhD position to study the Genome Architecture of Gene Regulatory Networks is part of a 5-year ERC research project to study the fundamental mechanism of how signaling inputs orchestrate epigenetic changes in chromatin structure and regulate the transcription of the target genes that control the proliferative expansion and fates of progenitor and stem cells during mouse embryonic organogenesis. The position is available in the Developmental Genetics Group at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
The group studies the self-regulatory signaling systems that control the proliferative expansion and patterning during vertebrate organogenesis. We use the limb bud as one of the paradigms to study the molecular interactions that control organ development in embryos. In particular, we have identified the gene regulatory network that integrates inputs from all major signaling pathways into a transcriptional output that controls the proliferation and patterning of limb bud mesenchymal progenitors. We are combining CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in the mouse with ChIP-Seq, transcriptome and genome-wide chromatin analysis to identify and study the functionally relevant cis-regulatory elements, epigenetic modifications and transcriptional complexes that integrate signaling inputs into a robust transcriptional output. A second fascinating aspect of our ERC funded research project is to identify the changes in genome architecture and transcriptional regulation that underlie adaptation of this self-regulatory system during evolutionary diversification of limbs during vertebrate organogenesis. PhD project is embedded in the core of our ERC and SNF funded research. Relevant publications by the host group include: Bénazet et al. 2009, Science 323, 1050-1053; Zuniga et al., 2012, BMC Dev. Biol. 12, 23 doi:10.1186; Lopez-Rios et al. 2014, Nature 511, 46-51; Osterwalder et al. 2014, Dev Cell 31, 345–357; Zuniga 2015, Development 142, 3810-3820, Laurent et al. 2017 Cell Reports (in press).
We are looking for a highly motivated student with an MSc in Molecular Biology or a closely related field that is interested in joining a groundbreaking research project in the field of gene regulation with direct relevance to evolutionary developmental biology and disease. Previous knowledge of developmental and evolutionary biology and/or mouse genetics will be an asset.
The successful applicant will join a dynamic and international research team in a biomedical research environment. You will have the chance to do your PhD in one of the internationally leading research groups in the field. This is an excellent opportunity for your PhD if you what to do cutting edge research in a highly collaborative and internationally competitive research setting. Life Sciences at University of Basel are among the best in Europe and offer PhD students excellent interdisciplinary and interfaculty postgraduate training programs. All our PhD students are members of the International PhD Program in Biomedicine (https://biomedizin.unibas.ch/de/education/).
Further information and submission of application
For more information see our group website:
Applicants should send a CV with complete publication list, grades of bachelor master, motivation letter, summary of master thesis research and the names and addresses of three referees as one single PDF file directly to rolf.zeller-at-unibas.chand/or aimee.zuniga-at-unibas.ch.
Interviews will continue until the position is filled.