Unraveling the molecular bases of inherited retinal disorders
Inherited retinal dystrophies (IRDs) represent one of the most frequent causes of genetic blindness in the western world and an important burden for national health systems. The most frequent and severe forms are Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), macular dystrophies (MD) and cone and cone-rod dystrophies (CD and CRD, respectively). All of these conditions display a very high genetic heterogeneity with over 150 responsible genes identified to date.
Often, the same gene may be responsible for more than one form of IRD, which further highlights that all these conditions may not constitute clearly distinct clinical entities but rather a continuum of phenotypes. Our group has contributed in the past few years to the elucidation of the molecular bases of IRDs and we have recently identified the first example of a microRNA, miR-204, with a pathogenic role for these conditions.
However, despite the high number of already identified genes, it is not possible to identify the molecular bases of IRDs in a significant fraction of IRD patients, which indicates the presence of either additional genes or of unidentified mutations in known genes.
Our Research Group (Dr. Sandro Banfi, http://www.tigem.it/research/faculty/banfi), established within the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine in Pozzuoli (Naples), focuses on the study of the genetic basis of IRDs and on the dissection of the role that microRNAs and other noncoding RNAs play in their pathogenesis.
To achieve this objective, we rely on the use of next generation sequencing technologies aimed both at genomic DNA analysis and at transcriptome studies coupled with gene functional assays both in vitro and in vivo.
Your project: We offer a position for a PhD Student. Your project will aim at the analysis of the molecular basis of IRDs, particularly of cases that turned out to harbor no obvious mutations in already known genes and to the identification of novel putative players in these conditions.
Your qualifications: We are looking for a curious, independent and creative person with a strong background and interest in molecular biology. You should hold a university degree in biology or an equivalent field and have good skills in state of the art molecular biology. Knowledge of basic methods of NGS procedures and bioinformatic analysis of data will be appreciated.
Our Offer: We offer you working in a young creative team, in an innovative, wellequipped and scientifically stimulating surrounding with a variety of training opportunities. As a PhD student at TIGEM you will be part of the Research Doctorate Program in Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy.
- Academic degree: Applicants shall have a master degree or equivalent corresponding to the second level of studies.
- Mobility rule: There will be no nationality restrictions. Applicants can be from any Country. However, they should have received their degree from a University located outside of Italy.
- Curriculum assessment concerns:
a) the degree thesis (the degree pertinence with the Ph.D. scientific topics, the degree final grades);
b) knowledge of Foreign languages and other skills opportunely certified;
c) research and study stages in Italy and abroad;
e) post graduate qualifications;
f) other documents if relevant for a full assessment (for example publications, conference abstracts, reference letters written by Professors of the foreign University where candidates are enrolled).
- Oral examinations topics concern your previous research experience and the project specific to the position offered. The interview can be in videoconference via Skype if requested.
APPLICATIONS AND DEADLINE
The application for admission to the examinations – Encl.1, duly signed in his/her own handwriting has to be sent only by certified mail (letter sent by recorded delivery with acknowledgement of receipt) – to avoid the exclusion from the competitive examination – within 14t July 2017 and addressed to the "Centro di Servizio di Ateneo per la Ricerca - c/o Ufficio Protocollo" – Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli" - Piazza Luigi Miraglia, Palazzo Bideri – 80138 NAPOLI (on the envelope must be written " Domanda di ammissione ai Corsi di Dottorato di Ricerca").
The title of the Research Doctorate Program "Molecular Life Sciences" must be indicated in the application form (see also https://www.unina2.it/index.php/ricerca/avvisi/5161-bando-di-concorsodottorato- di-ricerca-xxxiii-ciclo) Bando riservato ai candidati laureati presso Università estere.