PhD Studentship: Why do skeletal muscle stem cells need a primary cilium for effective regeneration? (MUNSTERBERG_U17DTP1)

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Start Date: 1st October 2017

Supervisor: Prof. Andrea Münsterberg

Project description:

The primary cilium is essential for a number of signaling pathways, including the Sonic hedghog (Shh) pathway. The cilium helps to target receptors and their downstream effectors to the basal body and this is crucial to allow cells to respond to various stimuli. Disruption of cilia function causes 'ciliopathies' in human. Thus the cilium is a critical organelle mediating interactions between the cell and its environment.  In developing embryos, myoblasts become committed to the skeletal muscle fate in response to Shh signalling. In addition, in adult skeletal muscle there are resident stem cells, so-called satellite cells (SC), which help to maintain a healthy tissue. For example SCs become activated and build new muscle after exercise and they repair muscle after injury. Results from our research using the mouse Talpid3 mutant, in which cilia function is disrupted, have shown that adult muscle stem cells require a primary cilium for efficient regeneration, however the details are not understood at present. We will use in vivo experiments in Talpid3 mutant mice, as well as ex vivo single fibre assays and in vitro stem cell cultures to investigate the cellular processes that are perturbed during skeletal muscle regeneration and repair when cilia are absent.

Person specification:  Minimum entry 2:1

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,296 pa – 2016/7), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website:

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South East England