We are excited about exploring the molecular principles and function of phase separation in the context of our favorite lab topic – chromatin and transcription. Our recent work has uncovered a role of phase separation in creating liquid-like reaction chambers for histone ubiquitination. Specifically, we found that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Bre1 interacts with Lge1, an intrinsically disordered protein, which promotes the phase separation of the ubiquitination machinery into enzymatically hyperactive condensates (Gallego*, Schneider*, Mittal* et al.: Nature, 2020).
In this project, we now aim to understand when, where and how these condensates form in cells, whether and how they move along chromatin and ultimately, how aberrant condensates may lead to disease when perturbing the flow of genetic information.
We are looking for an energetic, highly motivated student interested in exploring fundamental mechanisms in chromatin biology. You will employ biochemistry and microscopy approaches to understand the role of phase separation during transcription at the single-molecule level. If accepted, you will also receive a stipend during your thesis.
Interested? Send your CV, a letter of motivation and a contact for reference to:
Gallego, Schneider, Mittal et al., Nature (2020)
Gibson et al., Cell (2019)
Banani et al., Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2017)
Gallego et al., PNAS (2016)