Neuronal RNA granules
Student positions (PhD/master or undergraduate) available in Structural Biology Lab in Institute of Technology.
• Lab is studding the neuronal RNA granules.
• Neuronal RNA granules are macromolecular complexes composed of ribosomes, mRNA’s,
and RNA-binding proteins (RBP).
• Neuronal RNA granules are involved in the regulation of localized protein synthesis in
• Localized protein synthesis in neurons is recognized to be important for long-term
memory formation, synaptic plasticity, and RNA granule associated neurodegenerative
• Localized protein synthesis is a phenomenon where specific mRNAs are targeted
subcellularly to functionally distinct compartments (axons and dendrites) and translated within those compartments independently from the “bulk” protein synthesis in the cell body.
• The main interest of research is to shed a light on the structural aspects of RBPs mediated mRNA silencing in the neuronal RNA granules by using latest advances in the cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), mass-spectrometry (MS) or deep-sequencing approaches.
• Subatomic resolution structures of RBP’s bound to the RNA granule complexes would help to decipher molecular mechanisms of disease, and facilitate the development of potential drug candidates capable of influencing the association of the regulatory RBPs with the translational machinery.
• Opportunity to learn the techniques in Molecular Biology, Electron Microscopy, Cell Culture, Structural Biology etc.
• Useful skills: eukaryotic cell culture, RNA and protein purification, structural biology (modeling etc.), and bioinformatics.
Dr. Arto Pulk
University of Tartu, Institute of Technology Structural Biology Lab