PhD Studentship: Using Biomaterials to Investigate Nuclear Deformation during Confined Cellular Migration (WARREN_U18DTP)

University of East Anglia - School of Pharmacy

Start Date: 1st October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Dr Derek Warren

Project description: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex porous network. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) use proteolysis to increase pore size allowing actomyosin generated forces to move the cell body through the ECM unhindered during their migration. Increased blood vessel stiffness is observed during vascular ageing and disease, during which the vessel wall ECM begins to calcify and displays similar properties to bone. Under these conditions of vascular calcification, proteolysis is unable to increase pore size and the ability of VSMCs to squeeze through constrictive pores will determine how efficiently they migrate. Deformation of the nucleus, the largest and most rigid cellular organelle, is the rate-limiting step of constricted migration, however, our understanding of the pathways regulating actomyosin activity during constricted migration remains limited. We have identified the nuclear envelope as a regulator of actomyosin activity in VSMCs. We propose to investigate the role of this pathway in nuclear deformation during constricted migration.

During this interdisciplinary project, you will gain extensive experience in biomaterial fabrication, biochemistry and cell biology. I addition, you will use state-of-the-art imaging techniques including Confocal video time lapse microscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleching (FRAP) and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) analysis.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk

Person specification: Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa – 2017/8), 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: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England