The Van Ingen group offers several possibilities for BSc or MSc internships. Our research mainly focusses on the structural basis of epigenetics: how do proteins operate on nucleosomes to control DNA repair or gene regulation? These are fundamental questions that are crucial for our understanding of how cells functions and may lead to directions to treat disease.
For example, we recently elucidated how an E3/E2 enzyme pair recognizes the nucleosome and can specifically ubiquitinate histone H2A during the DNA damage response. By integrating NMR, cross-linking and biochemical data, we could determine the structure of this complex. Notably we showed how one mutation in the histones can selectively interfere with binding of this E3. This mutation was later shown in another work to be one of the most occuring histone mutations in some cancers.
Current projects focus on nucleosome remodellers, molecular machines capable of moving nucleosomes around, histone variants and histone chaperones.
Projects are usually tied to on-going research of a PhD student. Typically, projects entail a combination of biochemistry, NMR and computational analysis. Depending on your interest projects may focus more on one of these aspects. In particular for MSc internship we strive to include your data in a publication.
Examples of previous internships:
- biochemical characterization of nucleosomes containing a histone variant by mutagenesis and micrococcal DNA digestion
- structure determination of macrocyclical peptides by solution NMR
- residue-specific pKa determination of ionizable groups in histone proteins by solution NMR
- analysis of a weakly coupled, magnetically inequivalent spin system