Bertie Blandy

Dissecting mechanisms of mRNA translational control by specialised ribosomes

About me

From 2015-2018 I undertook my undergraduate Biochemistry BSc at Leeds. My third year research project was “Characterising Specialised Ribosomes in the Testes of Drosophila melanogaster.” Supervised by Dr Julie Aspden. After graduating I worked for a year as an Experimental Officer in the Immunochemistry Department at Covance Laboratories Ltd. performing ELISAs to analyse drug concentration and immune response from human clinical trials. I returned to the University of Leeds in Autumn 2019 to complete Molecular Medicine MSc at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine where my MSc research project was “Investigation of the Role of MCPH1 in Metabolism and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer” Supervised by Drs Sandra Bell and Salvatore Papa.

My project

My project is a White Rose BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, supervised by Drs Julie Aspden and Juan Fontana Certain populations of heterogeneous ribosomes have been suggested to exert translational control. These “specialised ribosomes” are proposed to exhibit altered translational capacity to specific groups of mRNAs. Recent studies have shown heterogenous ribosomal populations exist in both neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative conditions and provided evidence suggestive of specialised ribosomes driving this translational dysregulation. This PhD project will:

1. Determine whether specialised ribosomes play a role in normal brain development and function in Drosophila melanogaster.

2. Elucidate whether specialised ribosomes translate specific mRNA transcripts, important in neural function/development or associated with neuronal disorders. 3. Dissect structural mechanisms by which these ribosomes target specific mRNAs for translational regulation via cyro-EM.


Twitter: @AlbertBlandy

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