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

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

Discovering the RNA-Binding Proteome of Plant Leaves with an Improved RNA Interactome Capture Method

RBPs are key key drivers of gene expression by controlling RNA fate. However, our knowledge about RBPs in plants is very limited. I our recent work, we report an improved RNA interactome capture approach to discover RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) in plant leaves . Using this ‘plant-adapted RNA interactome capture’ (ptRIC) we have identified hundreds novel RBPs, including many enzymes and proteins from the photosynthetic apparatus. ptRIC did not only allowed the generation of the deepest ‘RBPome’ of plant tissue to date, but also opens the possibility to study how the RBPome remodels in response to environmental, physiological and pathological cues.

This work is an interdisciplinary collaborative effort between the Castello lab (Department of Biochemistry) and Preston lab (Department of Plant Sciences) at the University of Oxford. Find out more about this work here:

Discovering the RNA-binding proteome of plant leaves with an improved RNA interactome capture method. Marcel Bach-Pages, Felix Homma, Jiorgos Kourelis, Farnusch Kaschani, Shabaz Mohammed, Markus Kaiser, Renier A. L. van der Hoorn, Alfredo Castello*, Gail M. Preston*

Written by Marcel Bach-Pages

Positions available in the Gallego lab

Our colleagues from the Gallego lab in Barcelona, are now recruiting a Postdoc and a PhD position.

Oriol Gallego works at the interface between Cell Biology and Structural Biology, and aims to resolve biological mechanisms driving cell growth. His group develop new intracellular nanotools that help to enhance the resolutive power of live-cell imaging. This toolbox allows to answer biological questions that could not be tackled by other means. They have a brand new lab and equipment. The Gallego lab is based PRBB, an excellent research center in Barcelona, which is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and with a highly international scientific environment. 
They seek for a Postdoc with expertise in quantitative live-cell microscopy (ideally, a microscopist with background in biophysics, optical physics or image analysis) and a PhD student (background in life-sciences, ideally with expertise in biophysics, biochemistry, structural biology or bioinformatics) to join our lab. Please, see the links for more details on the Postdoc and the PhD positions and visit www.gallegolab.org.