Giulia Saredi, a postdoctoral researcher in John Rouse’s group, has been awarded a SULSA Early Career Researcher Development funding grant. Giulia’s research proposal relates to her project ‘Faithful chromatin maintenance and germline integrity in C. elegans’. SULSA, the Scottish University Life Sciences Alliance, recently set up this award to support postdocs in exploring their own independent research. The award covers reagents, and collaboration and travel expenses.
Chromatin aberrations have extensively been linked to genomic instability, loss of cell identity and human disease. Giulia’s work focuses on how histone chaperones – proteins which control the timely eviction and deposition of histones into chromatin – preserve genomic integrity. Giulia recently discovered a histone chaperone found in humans and in worms, which is necessary to maintain the integrity of the C. elegans worm germline tissue. Giulia’s data suggest that the new histone chaperone prevents spurious re–activation of genes that are normally kept silent by repressive chromatin marks, including transposable genetic elements. Giulia said: “I’m delighted to receive this award. It will enable me to learn new techniques such as chromatin-immunoprecipitation with the help of our collaborators at the University of Cambridge, in Eric Miska’s lab. I plan to establish chromatin-immunoprecipitation in the Rouse lab, in order to test whether specific histone post-translational modifications are lost or misplaced in the absence of the histone chaperone I am studying. I believe that learning this new technique will be very helpful in pursuing an independent career.”