Opportunities to join the Castello lab as PhD student

New opportunities to do your PhD studies in the Castello lab. We are looking for motivated students to characterise the roles of the exonuclease XRN1 and the new antiviral factor GEMIN5 in virus infection. The students will employ a broad range of high-throughput techniques (RNAseq, proteomics), state-of-the-art virology methods and computational approaches to elucidate the roles of these RNA binding proteins for a variety of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact us .

The Castello lab is eligible from the MVLS doctoral trining programmes and the MRC DTP Precision Medicine.

When cellular proteins meet SARS-CoV-2 RNA: a story of protein-RNA interactions

I our recent work we comprehensively and systematically identify the complement of cellular RNA-binding proteins that are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We discover that the cellular RNA-binding proteome (RBPome) is pervasively remodelled upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, affecting a broad range of RNA metabolism and antiviral pathways. We also apply a new method to uncover the composition of SARS-CoV-2 RNPs, revealing a dozens of cellular RBPs and seven viral proteins. Our study reveals a new universe of host-virus interactions awaiting to be characterised and with great potential for novel therapies againt COVID-19.

This work is a synergistic collaboration between the Castello, Mohammed, Bartenschlager, Martinez and Lilley labs. See full publication in BioRxiv below:

Global analysis of protein-RNA interactions in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells reveals key regulators of infection | bioRxiv

PhD opportunity on RNA stability in virus infected cells

In a recent work we showed that cellular RNA is massively degraded upon Sindbis virus infection, and this appears to apply to a broad range of cytopathic viruses. The goal of this project is to understand how cellular RNA degradation is triggered and what its consequences in infection are. We will focus on the exonuclease XRN1 that is stimulated upon the infection of several RNA viruses.

This project is a join effort between the Castello lab and the Pelechano‘s lab and combines cutting edge transcriptomic approaches with virology methods and computational biology.

If you are interested, you can apply to this project here:


Moving to the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research

The Castello lab will move to the Centre of Virus Research (CVR), in the University of Glasgow, between Nov 2020 and July 2021. The CVR is home to the UK’s largest critical mass of virology researchers, co-located in a purpose-built centre with state-of-the art facilities and infrastructure. New research activities will be based at the CVR, including new PhD and Msc projects.      

The CVR research covers emerging viruses, chronic infections , innate and intrinsic immunity , viruses and cancer, structural virology, viral genomics and bioinformatics.

The CVR is a member of the COVID-19 genomics UK consortium, which is currying out critical research to follow the expansion of SARS-Cov-2 and the consequent evolution of its genome. The CVR contribution to combat COVID-19 pandemics spans different lines of research, including virus tracking, characterisation and surveillance, as well as development of critical toolkit to enable UK research in SARS-Cov-2.

Follow the CVR in twitter: @CVRinfo