Gönczy Laboratory -Masters and Semester projects

Gönczy Laboratory -Masters and Semester projects for 2019

Opening for 2 Masters students in the Gönczy Laboratory in 2019!

The project is to be chosen amongst the 10 listed below. Each project can be adapted to last 1 or 2 semesters. Contact Pierre Gönczy (pierre.gonczy@epfl.ch) to find out more!

  1. Development of centriole specific probe

Objective: design, chemically synthesize and test a fluorescent probe specifically targeting the microtubule-doublets present in centrioles and axonemes.

Approaches: structural analysis, synthetic chemistry, human cell culture, centriole purification, live cell imaging, super-resolution microscopy (STED).

Ideal for students in: Chemical biology, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Bioengineering.

Collaboration between the Gönczy laboratory (Life Sciences) and Luc Reymond (Chemistry).

  1. Development of PROTAC (Proteolytic-Targeting Chimera) targeting Plk4

Objective: design, chemically synthesize and test a PROTAC targeting the Polo-like-kinase 4 (Plk4) to dissect mechanisms of centriole assembly in human cells.

Approaches: structural analysis, synthetic chemistry, human cell culture, live cell imaging, super-resolution microscopy (STED).

Ideal for students in: Chemical biology, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Bioengineering.

Collaboration between the Gönczy laboratory (Life Sciences) and Luc Reymond (Chemistry).

  1. Super-resolution microscopy of centriolar components

Objective: determine the distribution at the nanometric scale of the centriolar proteins HsSAS-6 and Cep135 using antibodies, monobodies and nanobodies.

Approaches: human cell culture, centriole purification, expansion microscopy, super-resolution microscopy (STED, high-throughput STORM, iSIM).

Ideal for students in: Life Sciences, Chemical biology, Bioengineering

Collaboration between the Gönczy (Life Sciences) and Manley laboratories (Physics).

  1. Investigation of centriole number control mechanisms in human cells

Objective: combine experimental and mathematical modeling to investigate how Plk4, STIL and HsSAS-6 proteins collaborate to ensure assembly of a single procentriole next to each parental centriole, once per cell cycle.  

Approaches: human cell culture, centriole purification, live cell imaging, super-resolution microscopy (STED), mathematical modeling.

Ideal for students in: Life Sciences, Physics, Mathematics.

  1. Re-engineering SAS-6 proteins to form spirals

Objective: test whether centrioles can be formed in human cells with a SAS-6 protein that assembles into a spiral rather than a cartwheel.

Approaches: site directed mutagenesis, protein expression and purification, cryo-electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), human cell culture, super-resolution microscopy (STED).

Ideal for students in: Life Sciences, Bioengineering.

  1. Investigation of mRNA localization of centriolar proteins

Objective: analyze localization of mRNAs encoding centriolar proteins during canonical and de novocentriole assembly.

Approaches: design of fluorescent probes, in situ hybridization, confocal imaging, data analysis.

Ideal for students in: Life Sciences, Bioengineering

  1. Analysis of centriolar proteins with low complexity regions (LCR)

Objective: analyze a subset of centriolar proteins for their propensity to form liquid droplets.

Approaches: bioinformatic analysis, protein expression and purification, assay of liquid-liquid phase separation.

Ideal for students in: Life Sciences, Bioengineering.

  1. Centriole inheritance in sexual and asexual reproduction

Objective: investigate how centrioles are inherited/formed in embryos generated through asexual reproduction, where oocytes develop without fertilization by sperm.

Approaches: live cell imaging of early embryogenesis in the nematod Panagrolaimus, identification of homologues of C. eleganscentriolar proteins, protein expression and purification, antibody generation, immufluorescence analysis,confocal imaging.

Ideal for students in: Life Sciences

  1. Analysis of de novocentriole assembly in the water fern

Objective: dissect mechanisms of de novo centriole assembly inthe water fern Marsilea vestita.

Approaches: live cell imaging, cryo-electron tomography, RNAi-based gene silencing, transcriptome analysis, identification of centriolar proteins, protein expression and purification, antibody generation, immufluorescence analysis, confocal imaging.

Ideal for students in: Life Sciences

  1. Exploring evolutionary diversity and origin of SAS-6 proteins

Objective: develop machine learning strategies using Tensorflow for high throughput protein structure prediction. Apply machine learning to identify homologues of the critical centriolar protein SAS-6 across all domains of life and thus help trace its origin.

Approaches: bioinformatic analysis, machine learning, structural prediction.

Ideal for students in: Computer Sciences, Bioinformatics, Life Sciences

Collaboration between the Gönczy (EPFL, Life Sciences) and Dessimoz (UNIL and SIB) laboratories.