PhD position: RNA Localisation in Vascular Biology

Posted on July 24,

The G.Costa lab ( is looking for a PhD student to embark on a project addressing fundamental questions in the fields of physiological and pathological blood vessel formation.

Our lab is supported by major funding institutions (Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council) to study the importance of subcellular mRNA localisation in endothelial cells. mRNA localisation is a fundamental mechanism that helps cells gain their shape and behave in particular ways. We found that certain mRNAs are localised in the edge of endothelial cells and this process is critical for proper blood vessel formation (Costa et al., EMBO J 2020). However, how mRNAs are transported to their destination and whether dysregulation of mRNA localisation contributes to vascular disorders are topics yet to be fully understood.

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic student to tackle some of the most exciting questions in the field.  The successful candidate will work with state-of-the-art cell culture techniques that mimic the generation of blood vessels in vitro, in combination with advanced microscopy and molecular biology techniques to visualise mRNA localisation. Our approaches are designed to explore how and why particular mRNAs are transported within endothelial cells, what controls their localised translation and how the disruption of these processes may be involved in human pathologies, such as tumour angiogenesis and retinal vascular diseases.

The G.Costa lab is based in the Wellcome Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University of Belfast, a research centre committed to scientific discoveries in the mechanisms of disease. The successful candidate will work in a friendly and stimulating scientific environment, and they will have access to many exciting training activities throughout their PhD training. 


The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

Funding Notes

Funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE). For UK domiciled students the value of an award includes the cost of approved tuition fees and maintenance support (Fees £4,712 Stipend £18,622). To be considered eligible you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the full 3-year period prior to the start of the studentship and you must be ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland on the first day of the start of the studentship. For further information about eligibility criteria please refer to the DfE Postgraduate Studentship Terms and Conditions at View Website


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Experimental Medicine, website for further details about the Centre:
Please click on the 'Apply Now' button to apply.
When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School