Gilbert:Available Projects

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Available Projects in the Gilbert Lab

Student Honours Project

Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry

Supervisors: Dr J. Allan and Dr N. Gilbert.


The Purification and Characterisation of Heterochromatin


The manner in which DNA is packaged into chromatin varies as a function of DNA sequence type and functional context. Some regions that adopt a more tightly folded form of the higher-order chromatin fibre (heterochromatic regions), can be fractionated from the bulk of the population by sucrose gradient sedimentation due to their distinctive sedimentation (hydrodynamic) properties. The aim of this project is to use this technology to purify condensed chromatin and subsequently to characterise both the histone and non-histone components of this material.


Gilbert, N. and Allan, J. (2001) Distinctive Higher-Order Chromatin Structure at Mammalian Centromeres. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA, 98, 11949-11954.

Gilbert et al. (2004) Chromatin architecture of the human genome: gene-rich domains are enriched in open chromatin fibers. Cell, 118, 555-566.

Practical: Tissue culture; Chromatin preparation; sucrose gradient sedimentation; protein and DNA gel electrophoresis; Western blotting; mass spectrometry.