|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students|
|Placed On:||1st October 2018|
|Closes:||23rd November 2018|
Dr David Richards, Physics, University of Exeter
Background: Clearance of old red blood cells (RBCs) is essential for correct physiological maintenance of the blood. However, detailed mechanisms of this process remain a mystery, and it is unclear how RBCs “know” how old they are, and how this affects phagocytosis. Understanding this process is critical as premature RBC ageing and abnormal clearance is relevant to a range of common medical conditions such as sickle-cell anaemia, hemoglobinopathies, Gaucher’s disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and parasite infections.
The approach: Often the quickest way to make progress with this type of problem is to intimately combine experiments and modelling. Here, this will involve imaging phagocytosis of RBCs in the lab (with time-lapse microscopy of both real and artificial RBCs) and designing mathematical models (based on the immune cell shape). This combination means that the experiments can directly inform the model and that the modelling can suggest novel experimental directions. This approach will allow you to learn a highly-desirable combination of modelling and experimental skills, leading to excellent future career prospects.
Project plan: This cross-disciplinary studentship will be based at Exeter but will also involve spending time at both Bristol and Bath. It will include:
Outreach and public involvement will also play an important part of this studentship. You will work directly with Dr Silvia Bortoli (the Communities Engagement Manager within the Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis at Exeter University) and the MAGPIEs (a group of lay people involved in medical research) in order to disseminate results and guide research.
To apply for this project, please complete the application form at cardiff.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/gw4-biomed-mrc-dtp-student-2019 by 5pm Friday 23 November 2018.
Full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,777 for 2018/19, updated each year) for 3.5 years.
This studentship is funded through GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership. It consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,777 for 2018/19, updated each year) for 3.5 years.
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