About the Project
Recent studies suggest that myogenic culture with three-dimensional (3D) structure mimicking the organisation of muscle bundles in vivo is important for myofibre maturation and function. To facilitate pre-clinical drug discovery and development for muscle-related diseases, it is critical to develop novel human-specific 3D in vitro models that recapitulate the highly aligned muscle structure in vivo. As standard 3D culture does not reflect the complexity of myofibre architecture in vivo, we will use 3D bio-printing technologies to bridge this gap. Bio-printing involves the layer-by-layer deposition of living cells within a biocompatible material (‘bioink’) in order to build up a 3D tissue-like structure. Key advantages of this approach include high spatial control of the printed structure, the ability to create multi-cellular or multi-material tissues, and excellent reproducibility and consistency. Human iPSC-derived myogenic progenitors in combination with 3D bio-printing technologies can provide human-specific in vitro platforms critically needed for elucidating disease mechanisms and facilitating drug discovery1,2. This multidisciplinary project will have a significant impact on developing novel human-specific pre-clinical models and replacing/reducing the use of mouse models in muscular dystrophy research.
The Blizard Institute supports researchers with the state-of-the-art core facilities, including the CREATE Biofabrication Lab for 3D bio-printing, which has been established as a multi-disciplinary initiative to provide cutting edge facilities for the engineering of advanced tissue and disease models. QMUL is one of the UK’s leading research-focused higher education institutions and a member of the Russell Group of elite UK Universities. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), QMUL was ranked 9th out of all UK multi-faculty institutions in overall research outputs, impact and environment. These PRES2015 outcomes follow comments from the REF2014 UoA1 panel, which noted that a particular strength of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry was its ‘effective and sustainable doctoral research training and evidence of a strong and integrated research student culture’.
Your application must consist of a CV, contact details of two academic referees, and a personal statement (1,000 words maximum) describing your suitability for this project.
Informal enquiries are encouraged before the closing date and can be made to Dr Yung-Yao Lin ([Email Address Removed])
2. Kim, J. et al. A new patient-derived iPSC model for dystroglycanopathies validates a compound that increases glycosylation of α-dystroglycan. EMBO Rep. 20, e47967 (2019).
3. Find out more about the PhD studentship:
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