We have an exciting new studentship available in the lab – we are looking for someone with an interest in using cutting edge microscopy to answer fundamental questions about the morphology and cellular interactions of RNA viruses. This is a 4 year, Royal Society-funded DPhil in Biophysics.

Pushing the limits of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to investigate the morphology and cellular interactions of RNA viruses

Infectious diseases caused by RNA viruses such as influenza, Ebola and hepatitis C represent a huge global health concern, causing many thousands of deaths annually. The resolution of conventional fluorescent imaging is limited by diffraction (which for visible light is ~250nm), making imaging of viruses – which are typically only 100nm in size – impossible. Recently, advances in super-resolution microscopy, such as STORM and PALM, have revolutionised the ability of scientists to study sub-resolution nanoscale structures, allowing us to address important structural and physiological questions that were previously inaccessible to direct observation.

During your research you will develop localisation-based super-resolution microscopy tools to study the structure and morphology of influenza viruses at unprecedented resolution. The imaging methods and analytical tools developed for single virus imaging will also be used to analyse the interactions between influenza viruses and the infected cell; advancing our understanding of these interactions is vital to combating viral disease.

You will develop novel and robust tools for virus labelling, and use state-of-the-art super-resolution microscopes for multicolour 3D imaging of viruses, live-cell imaging and single-virus tracking in virus-infected mammalian cells. The project has a strong computational component as quantitative data analysis using custom-written software for super-resolved reconstruction of images will be required.

Research in our interdisciplinary group focuses on the use of novel single-molecule fluorescent spectroscopy techniques, combined with traditional biochemical approaches, to study RNA viruses and to develop methods for their detection and treatment (NAR 27694620 (2016), Nat Microbiol 27274864 (2016), PNAS 25071209 (2014)). We work closely with the lab of Professor Achilles Kapanidis who is an expert in the study of gene machines using single-molecule biophysical methods. This is a Royal Society Funded Studentship.

Closing date for applications: 12 noon UK time (midday) on Friday 1 June 2018

Supervisor: Dr Nicole Robb +44 (0)1865 272357



For more info please see: Link.

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