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Application of stem cell technologies towards next-generation veterinary regenerative therapies

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, September 24, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We seek an enthusiastic PhD student with combined interests in stem cell biology and veterinary science to undertake an exciting project that will aim to take recent advances in stem cell science to the development of novel and effective regenerative tissue approaches for horses.

Veterinary regenerative medicine now comprises a multi-million dollar industry globally. Current cell-based therapies use mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), primarily for musculoskeletal regeneration. A serious limitation of current approaches is that stem cells need to be collected, often using invasive procedures, from donor animals, and expanded during several days in culture before being transplanted to the same (autologous) or other (allogeneic) patients. This approach both limits clinical efficacy and increases treatment costs. In that regard, the generation of ready-to-use (off-the-shelf) cell preparations would be a significant advance towards novel tissue regeneration treatments with increased efficacy and reduced cost.

This project will exploit the latest advances in stem cell and genetic engineering technologies with the aim to generate for the first time off-the-shelf cell preparations for regenerative applications in horses. Using unique expertise developed in the host laboratory (1, 2), the project will aim to generate novel equine stem cell populations and test their ability to robustly mediate tissue regeneration in vivo. The results of this project will pave the way for new and more effective therapies for tissue regeneration in the horse and other domestic species.

The 4-year project will be undertaken at the world-renowned Roslin Institute, a centre of reference in the UK and internationally, where the main supervisor, Dr. Donadeu, and his team have pioneered the study and application of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and native MSCs from horses (1, 2). The project will take place in the context of a new and exciting collaboration between Roslin Institute and iC-biosolutions Ltd. aimed at developing new approaches for veterinary regenerative medicine.

The student will acquire a solid knowledge of stem cells and their therapeutic applications, and will become proficient in a variety of laboratory techniques including cell reprogramming and genetic modification, as well as stem cell isolation, culture, differentiation and analyses. In addition, the student will be expected to participate in regular interactions with the industrial partner and will have the opportunity to acquire an understanding of industry including project management, business strategy and finance.

Applications:

Statement of support along your curriculum vitae should be sent to our PGR student team at

Funding Notes

Eligibility:

All candidates should have or expect to have a minimum of an appropriate upper 2nd class degree or equivalent, and be resident in the UK or an EU member state. Previous experience working with iPSCs or MSCs would be preferable.

References

1. Sharma R, Livesey MR, Wyllie DJ, Proudfoot C, Whitelaw CB, Hay DC, Donadeu FX. Generation of functional neurons from feeder-free, keratinocyte-derived equine induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells and Development. 2014; 23(13):1524-1534
2. Esteves CL, Sheldrake TA, Mesquita SP, Pesántez JJ, Menghini T, Dawson L, Peault B, Donadeu FX. Isolation and characterization of equine native MSC subpopulations. Journal of Stem Cell Research and Therapy 2017;8(1):80. doi: 10.1186/s13287-017-0525-2

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