PhD studentship “RNA methylation in Diabetes endothelial damage contributing to limb ischaemia”


Preliminary applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship (reserved to British and European citizens, only, following founder guidelines) in the Professor Costanza Emanueli group. The studentship is fully funded by Diabetes UK, for 3 years. PhD project will involve exploring the role of RNA modifications in endothelial cells (ECs) in the context of type-2 diabetes mellitus (DM). In this setting, our team has recently identified small non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, and epigenetic modifier, histone methyltransferase EZH2, as new players in the pathogenesis of diabetes and diabetes-associated complications (Caporali, A, Circulation 2011, Caporali, A, Nature Communications 2015 and Floris, I, ATVB 2015). RNA modifications, collectively called the ‘epitranscriptome’, constitute ancient mechanisms that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. RNA methylation, specifically on the RNA adenosine base at the nitrogen-6 position (N6-methyadenosine-m6A), is emerging as a new layer of fine-tuned gene expression (Dominissini D Nature 2012, Geula S, Science 2015, Śledź P and Jinek M. Elife 2016). This PhD studentship will be focused on understanding the contribution of RNA methylation in diabetes-induced vascular damage leading to ischemic disease.

The studentship will be based within the group of Professor Emanueli at the National Heart Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London, at the Hammersmith Campus (W12, London). The NHLI provides an exciting environment, with state of the art facilities and excellent opportunities for PhD student training including research seminars and journal clubs. In addition, NHLI provides extensive collaborative opportunities with other research groups.

The PhD student will be supervise by Prof Emanueli and co-supervised by Dr Aranzazu Chamorro-Jorganes, who also has extensive experience in ncRNAs and vascular biology. See her previous research performed at NYU and Yale University (Chamorro-Jorganes A, Circulation Research 2016, Chamorro-Jorganes A, Journal Cell Science 2014, Chamorro-Jorganes A, ATVB 2011).

Through a combination of seminars and independent research our students develop the necessary skill-sets to become future research leaders in the cardiovascular sciences. Training is structured to encourage students to take novel, interdisciplinary approaches to address key cardiovascular questions. Training is also provided in transferable scientific skills, such as public engagement, effective writing and ethics.

The student will develop skills in a wide range of experimental techniques/skills (ii) develop written, oral and transferable skills; and (iii) gain an appreciation of cardiovascular and diabetes research.

Selection Criteria and Preliminary enquires

The call will be soon open via the Imperial College London system, but we are happy to receive preliminary expression of interest.

The winning candidate will hold undergraduate biomedical degree at first or at least upper-second level and preferably from a top-class UK or European University & a Master degree. The candidate will be very proficient in written and spoken English and have previous lab experience. She/he will be highly motivated, happy to work flexibly and solidly on a regular basis, capable of independent thinking, but also able to work under supervision and collaboratively. The candidate will have good communication and social skills. Especially, the candidate will be passionate about cardiovascular and diabetes research and motivated to learn and apply new concepts and methods. Ideally, the candidate will have a background in molecular and cellular biology. For preliminary information, please email to and attach a short CV with your education track and research experience (if any).

The expected starting date is between May and July 2018.