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Neurogenetics of Vocal Communication Group -

Bachelor and Masters student internships available

Project 1 – The influence of microRNAs on language pathways

Our prior work has discovered genetic pathways underlying speech and language using a gene that causes severe forms of speech and language disorder (FOXP2) as an entry point. We have recently uncovered a potential role for microRNA regulation of language pathways.


The opportunity exists for a motivated student to undertake their own project studying the links between microRNA’s and language. This project aims to explore the regulation of language related genes by microRNA’s via canonical (3’-UTR repression) and non-canonical means.  This will involve molecular techniques including cloning, (q)PCR, luciferase assays, western blotting, cell culture and in situ hybridization in tissue slices. Existing clinical data from large scale screens will also be integrated to understand direct links to language disorders. The project is planned for a 6-month full-time internship and should result in a written report and presentation. 


Patient identified mutations can affect the ability of miRNA molecules to regulate protein expression

About us:

Projects will be undertaken in the state-of–the art, newly built research labs at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics on the campus of the Radboud University. We are a young, international research group affiliated with the Max Planck Institute's Language and Genetics department.

What we expect from you:

We expect Bachelor-level (Biology or related) training in basic laboratory techniques and general enthusiasm for molecular biology. Since the research group is international, good spoken and written English are required.  You will be trained and expertly supervised in all necessary techniques.


Interested? Send a letter of motivation, CV, and two letters of reference (all in English) to Dr. Vernes:

Last checked 2016-10-15 by sonver

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