Date Posted
4 Jan 2021

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PhD Project
Institut Curie – UMR3664

Fully funded PhD position at Institut Curie Eureca international funded PhD program in Life Sciences

4 Jan 2021

Position Description

Apply to the Eureca International PhD program to join our lab investigating the evolution of centormeres and chromosome segregation. You will work on a project applying cutting-edge technologies investigating 3-dimensional organization of centromeres in mitosis

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The centromere is a specialized chromosomal region required for correct chromosome inheritance over cell division. For this, centromere and their associated protein complexes, the kinetochore must bi-orient allowing sister chromatids to attach to spindle microtubules emanating from opposite poles. On condensed mitotic chromosomes centromere and kinetochore-associated proteins appear on the polar surface of chromosomes implying that precise spatial conformation of chromosomal DNA underlies this peripheral clustering. The peripheral clustering of centromere and kinetochore components is seen across eukaryotes but driven to the extreme in organisms with holocentric chromosomes, where kinetochores assemble chromosome-wide (in contrast to monocentric chromosomes (with restricted kinetochore attachments). Holocentric organisms thus offer a powerful system to understand this conserved and essential mitotic organization of centromeres.

Here, we propose to get insights into this question using the holocentric organism Bombyx mori as model, for which we have recently mapped centromeres along their chromosomes (Senaratne et al, Current Biology 2020).

Using cell biological approaches, we aim to evaluate factors including condensin, cohesion and kinetochore components to test for their importance for peripheral centromere clustering. Using genomics (Hi-C, Hi-ChIP) and Oligopaint fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses combined with superresolution microscopy in collaboration with AbbeLight, we aim to precisely quantify and map interactions between centromere regions. Those data will also be used for biophysical modeling approaches to reconstruct the spatial conformation of chromosomes.

This project will provide fundamental insights into the mechanism underlying centromere organization to establish its correct chromatin topology to enable faithful segregation of chromosomes.

International, interdisciplinary & intersectoral aspects of the project

This project combines a range of techniques from molecular and cellular biology (IF and Oligopaint FISH), imaging (Abbelight technology), genomics (HiChIP), bioinformatics (analyses of genomic datasets) and physics (spatial reconstruction).

Abbelight is an international company, which develops next generation microscope technologies to analyze molecular structures with high precision.

The candidate will be in close contact with their technical support team to quantify chromatin interactions labelled using multi-color Oligopaint FISH probes. The student will also be in close contact with Prof. Kerry Bloom’s lab (University of North Carolina), an expert in the field of centromere models, to perform the biophysical modeling of centromere organization.

How to Apply

Please visit: Application deadline is January 14th 2021 Start of the position Sepember 1st 2021 2100 Euros/month

Position Category: Medical & Biological Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project.