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The Epigenetic Effects of Oxidative Stress

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Friday, 22 February 2019
Academic background
Sciences, Health Sciences
Host campus
Pathology and Biomedical Science (Christchurch)
Dr Aaron Stevens, Professor Mark Hampton, Professor Martin Kennedy


Methylated cytosine is an important DNA modification that directs how genes are expressed, but may also be altered through interactions with environmental stimuli. We are interested in the ability of oxidative stress to alter DNA methylation patterns in cells.

This project will investigate modifications to the methylome of human cells exposed to low doses of oxidative stress, including those generated by mitochondria as part of their normal metabolism, and those generated by immune cells during inflammation.

The project will involve both a combination of laboratory-based techniques, including cell culture and assessment of viability and proliferation, along with measurement of changes in the pattern of DNA modification using state of the art, array-based technology. Bioinformatic analysis will be necessary, and will require data analysis and visualisation in R.

Preferred student expertise

We are seeking a student who has an interest in biochemistry or molecular biology with an understanding of epigenetic modifications.

A knowledge of statistics with a basic understanding and experience in the use of R will also be an advantage.

Further information

This project is one of the many available for the 2019 intake of BBiomedSc(Hons) at the University of Otago, Christchurch campus.

Visit the University of Otago, Christchurch website for more information about the Honours programme.

Gene Structure and Function Laboratory website
Centre for Free Radical Research website

Dr Aaron Stevens' staff profile
Professor Martin Kennedy's staff profile
Professor Mark Hampton's staff profile


Dr Aaron Stevens
Tel   +64 3 378 6268