Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology Baddiley-Clark Building Richardson Road Newcastle University Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 4AX
Professor Nikolay Zenkin
I obtained my BSc in Genetics from Newcastle University in 2010 and it was during this that I developed an interest in gene transcription. My focus throughout my MRes and now during my PhD, is on transcription-translation coupling. I am investigating potential links between the two and the roles these could have on transcription-translation coupling.
Project title: Regulation of gene expression through the coupling of transcription and translation
Transcription and translation are two essential processes that are highly conserved throughout all domains of life. In bacteria, they are coupled, both temporally and spatially. A number of factors have been proposed to enable this coupling, some possibly forming a physical bridge between the RNA polymerase and the ribosomes. My project aims to examine the interplay between the RNA polymerase during transcription and the ribosomes during translation using in vivo and in vitro techniques. The in vitro technique was developed in the lab I currently work in and uses purified components to carry out transcription and translation. This means there are no extra factors that could interfere or mask results, as can occur in vivo.
Currently the exact mechanisms in which coupling occurs and the potential effects of disrupting these links are not understood and my project aims to shed more light in this area. As transcription-translation coupling is unique to bacteria and archea, the broader implication of this project is that the understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved could potentially provide novel drug targets specific to bacteria.
I attended the 25th UK RNA Polymerase workshop in March 2013 in Milton Keynes.
Where did I get my PIPs
PIPS Internship Organisation Name
When deciding on your internship, what did you want to experience and what did you hope to gain from that experience?
I wanted to experience something outside of academic research that still utilised the skills I had learnt as a PhD student and gain a knowledge of the alternative careers that are available.
Did you discover anything about yourself or make any achievements that you were not expecting?
I realised that I liked academic research, specifically the problem solving aspect and the non-routine nature of research.
Has the internship made you feel differently about potential career options and has it helped to put the skills from research into a broader context?
Although it enabled me to see how my research skills were relevant outside of academia, it made me realise that I would like to pursue a career within research.