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Role of m6A methylation in virus infection


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 6 April 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Competition funded
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Andrew Tuplin and Professor Adrian Whitehouse
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

RNA can be chemically modified and it&rsquo;s now emerging that the modification status of an RNA can affect its fate and function. The most common mRNA modification, m6A methylation, functions by recruiting so-called effector m6A reader proteins to modified RNAs. Once bound these m6A reader proteins determine RNA processing events. Not surprisingly, viruses manipulate the host cell RNA modification machinery to enhance virus replication. We have recently shown that KSHV-encoded RNAs are heavily m6A modified and that the modification of host cell RNAs is drastically altered during infection (Baquero et al., (2019) eLife, 8:e47261). This project now aims to determine how and why KSHV manipulates the host&rsquo;s RNA modification machinery. We will address the key question of why the m6A modification status of host cell RNAs are altered and how this enhances KSHV replication. This may provide new avenues to antiviral strategies. This project uses an interdisciplinary approach, combining virology and cell biology, coupled with transcriptomic analysis and bioinformatics. You will be provided training in a wide range of confocal imaging approaches and molecular/virological techniques, in addition to bioinformatic approaches to analyse transcriptome/CLIP-seq data and quantitative skills to analyse differential expression patterns. More information on the Whitehouse lab can be found at :

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &ldquo;Role of m6A methylation in virus infection&rdquo; as well as&nbsp;Prof Adrian Whitehouse&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;4 year fully-funded programme of integrated research and skills training, starting Oct 2020:&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Research Council Stipend&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;UK/EU Tuition Fees&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Conference and research funding&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;Requirements:&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;At least a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent. We welcome students with backgrounds in biological, chemical or physical sciences, or mathematical backgrounds with an interest in biological questions.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;EU candidates require 3 years of UK residency to receive full studentship&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact the Graduate School Office<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 8186</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>