Careers & Students

The generation of genetic diversity via DNA repair pathways

The generation of genetic diversity via DNA repair pathways

PhD/Honours project

Why is it that two parents can create children that are genetically unique? The answer is meiosis. We are seeking an enthusiastic scientist with an interest in genetics and evolution, to uncover how DNA repair pathways regulate generation of diversity during meiosis.

In our bodies, DNA double strand breaks are incredibly dangerous and must be repaired. Nonetheless, there are natural processes that actively generate DNA double strand breaks during meiosis, to allow genetic recombination, or the reshuffling of genetic material between related chromosomes. This process is tightly regulated by mechanisms that are widely conserved in eukaryotes. We previously showed that mutants of the gene FANCM cause a huge increase in meiotic recombination in plants. A related gene has the same effect in yeast. We have now generated FANCM-deficient mice to determine if the same process governs genetic diversity in mammals. This research has potential implications for our understanding and treatment of infertility in humans.

Your project will take place in a dynamic young team of experts, and use a diverse set of techniques (including mouse genetics and meiosis techniques, next generation DNA sequencing, bioinformatics analysis of recombination frequencies, recombinant DNA technology, immunofluorescence and ex vivo organ culture) to uncover how genetic diversity is regulated, and potentially affected in human disease.

$5,000 PhD top ups and honours scholarships are available to a limited number of outstanding candidates. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

Crismani et al, Science 2012, 336(6088):1588-90
Lorenz et al, Science 2012, 336(6088):1585-88
Bogliolo et al, Genetics in Medicine 2017 doi:10.1038/gim.2017.124

Supervised by:

  • Dr Wayne Crismani
  • Disease Focus:

  • Cancer
  • Research Unit:

  • Genome stability