A PhD Student from Max Planck Research Group at MCB – Anna Salerno-Kochan – has been awarded ETIUDA grant for young scientists who are preparing a doctoral dissertation. The project titled “Structural characterization of Mei-P26 protein – a central regulator of RNA biosynthesis during stem cell fate decision” was subsidized with a sum of PLN 125 840.
18,4 mln PLN for young scientists from ETIUDA 7 grantIn the seventh edition of the ETIUDA grant, 157 PhD students received funding for their research projects. The winners receive a scholarship and possibility to complete an internship in one of the foreign research centers of their choice. Anna Salerno-Kochan is one of 33 PhD students from Jagiellonian University who were granted with ETIUDA funding (read more HERE)
The research project
During her PhD, Anna focuses on the role of Mei-P26 protein in the regulation of stem cell fate decision. The protein of interest is one of the key players involved in the proper development of the Drosophila melanogaster organism and participates in several pathways leading to differentiation of germline stem cells into oocyte. Importantly, mutations in mei-P26 lead to accumulation of undifferentiated cysts, which results in tumor formation in the ovary and testis. The crucial for Mei-P26 function is its ability to interact and form macromolecular complexes with proteins and mRNA. The main aim of Anna’s work is to obtain structural and functional insights into Mei-P26 protein and its complexes with mRNA to explain mechanistic details leading to high substrate specificity during mRNA recognition that remains a “blind spot” in understanding the role of the protein in the regulation of stem cell fate decision.
To upgrade her PhD project and expand her skills as a structural biologist and biochemist, Anna has applied for ETIUDA Grant form National Center of Science to perform a 6-month internship in prof. Elena Conti Laboratory in Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Germany.
“During my internship, I plan to gain experience in Cryo-electron microscopy technique and novel biochemical and biophysical assays for studying RNA-protein interactions and finalize my PhD project concerning Mei-P26 protein” – says Anna Salerno-Kochan.