Epigenetics is defined as inherited changes in gene expression that are not encoded in the DNA sequence. The major epigenetic mechanisms are DNA methylation, post-translational histone modifications, RNA interference and microRNAs. Unlike classical genetics the epigenetic signature is dynamic changing with age and is influenced by environmental factors such as diet, illness, smoking and alcohol consumption. The importance of epigenetics in developmental programmes and carcinogenesis has been clearly established however its role in common age-related inflammatory and infectious is still largely unknown, and therapeutic avenues remain underdeveloped.
This network, part of the University´s interdisciplinary `Healthcare Across the Disciplines´ theme, will establish a major cross-faculty initiative in epigenetics. It will examine the role of age-related epigenetic change in relation to the immune and endocrine systems. The students and supervisors within the network will have monthly meetings and will attend and present their data at their academic unit lab meeting. The students will attend the regular seminar series within their Department and will present at the annual Departmental and Medical School Research meetings and at cross faculty meetings organised by the Krebs Institute. A network of three PhD scholarships is being funded by the University for 3 years, providing a stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£13,590 in 2011-12), UK/EU fees and a research training grant of £1,000 p.a.
Study Subject: The role of Epigenetics in Age-Related Immune Dysfunction and in Endocrine Eisease
Employer: University of Sheffield
Application Deadline: 31 March 2011
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