Drosophila neural stem cells (neuroblasts, NBs) are a well-established model in stem cell biology. During asymmetric division, these cells distribute cell fate determinants into the differentiating daughter cell, while the other daughter cell maintains the NBs identity. How the stem cell identity is regulated and stably maintained over a series of divisions is poorly understood. Recently, we could identify a regulative network of stem cell specific transcription factors governing potential cell fate regulators. The role of these factors in stem cell fate seems to be complicated and redundant, since single gene studies only revealed a direct role for few of these factors.
More importantly, how the transcription of these genes is regulated in the stem cell and maintained is not known. In our transcriptome analysis we also identified all components of the highly conserved NURF complex. How and if NURF regulates stem cell identity in the nervous system is not known. In preliminary experiments eliminating one component by RNAi in NBs, we could observe a loss of NB-specific expression of Deadpan, one of the essential NB-specific transcription factors. This is a very interesting finding, since it implies that NURF regulated transcription is essential for NB transcription factor expression and thus a stable stem cell fate. In the next experiments we will comprehensively investigate the impact of all known members of the NURF complex in NBs using RNAi and mutant analysis. We will use cell type-specific RNAseq of wildtype and NURF-deficient NBs to uncover all transcripts regulated by NURF in NBs. To further gain insight into the transcriptional status of these and all NB-specific genes, we want to establish methodology for cell type-specific Chip-seq experiments using antibodies that recognize active and repressive Histone marks. Combining these two approaches will give us a detailed list of NURF-regulated target genes and their transcriptional status in NBs needed to maintain and imprint stem cell identity that can be tested in subsequent analysis. Starting date is 1st March 2014 or later.
The scholarship position is awarded in biology – neural stem cells at Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH in Germany.
The scholarship is for pursuing PhD at Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH in Germany.
• Master or Diploma
• Motivation to solve complex biological problems
• Excellent communication skills
How to apply
The mode of application is online. Please click here for more information on how to apply
Scholarship Application Deadline
Deadline for applications (exclusively online via web form): 25th November 2013.