Master Student Position: Transcriptome of ATOH7 in hiPSC-derived retinal organoids

Topic:
A Master student position is available to support a project focused on understanding the role of the retinal transcription factor ATOH7 in the developing human retina. The impact of this early-expressed gene will be studied in retinal organoids derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). The aim of this project is to compare the mRNA transcriptome of wildtype and ATOH7 -/- retinal organoids at different developmental timepoints in order to gain a clearer understanding of the downstream gene targets and pathways which ATOH7 may be involved in. Depending on the starting date, the position may entail maintenance and differentiation of hiPSC cultures, CRISPR/Cas9 editing of hiPSC lines, mutation screening by Sanger sequencing and next generation sequencing (NGS), protein analysis by immunocytochemistry and Western blot, as well as verification of mRNA-sequencing data by quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). 

Background:
This project aims to continue our previous work, where we characterized compound heterozygous ATOH7 mutations in two siblings suffering from bilateral optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH). For more information, please follow the links for ATOH7, as well as ONH.

Duration:
9-12 months.

Entrance upon: 
From April 2021.

Requirements:
Highly motivated students in the area of biology, biomedical sciences or equivalent with a strong interest in human genetics are encouraged to send applications. Fluency in English and previous lab experience are required. Good knowledge and practical experience in any of the above-mentioned techniques is an advantage. Please submit your application to sekretariat@medmolgen.uzh.ch.