About the Project
This PhD will explore the cardiac phenotype of the Greenland shark by investigating hallmarks of human cardiac aging2 in the shark using tissue collected from sharks whose age spans 50 to 280 years of age (+/100 years). The investigation has a 3-pronged approach. (1) The student will assess DNA methylation patterns in the shark heart tissue to understand its association with age3,4. (2) The student will investigate mitochondrial function using biochemical assays and electron microscopy tomography (nano-level 3D EM) to investigate subcellular morphology associated with long life (mitochondria and caveolae)5. (3) The student will assess the regenerative capabilities of the shark heart using immunohistochemistry and molecular assays.
Upon completion the student will have employed cross cutting investigative methods (‘omics/DNA-methylation patterns and 3D nano-EM tomography) combined with more conventional approaches of enzyme activity, and protein and gene expression analysis, to map the progression of age in the heart of the longest living vertebrate on the planet.
Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.
UK applicants interested in this project should make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. International applicants (including EU nationals) must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English Language) as outlined before contacting potential supervisors to express an interest in their project. Eligibility can be checked via the University Country Specific information page (https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/country-specific-information/).
If your country is not listed you must contact the Doctoral Academy Admissions Team providing a detailed CV (to include academic qualifications – stating degree classification(s) and dates awarded) and relevant transcripts.
Following the review of your qualifications and with support from potential supervisor(s), you will be informed whether you can submit a formal online application.
To be considered for this project you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BBSRC DTP website http://www.manchester.ac.uk/bbsrcdtpstudentships
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website View Website
 López-Otín C, Blasco MA, Partridge L, Serrano M, Kroemer G. The hallmarks of aging. Cell. 2013 Jun 6;153(6):1194-217.
 Peat JR, Ortega-Recalde O, Kardailsky O, Hore TA. The elephant shark methylome reveals conservation of epigenetic regulation across jawed vertebrates. F1000Research. 2017;6.
 Lowe R, Barton C, Jenkins CA, Ernst C, Forman O, Fernandez-Twinn DS, Bock C, Rossiter SJ, Faulkes CG, Ozanne SE, Walter L. Ageing-associated DNA methylation dynamics are a molecular readout of lifespan variation among mammalian species. Genome biology. 2018 Dec;19(1):22.
 Fridolfsson HN, Kawaraguchi Y, Ali SS, Panneerselvam M, Niesman IR, Finley JC, Kellerhals SE, Migita MY, Okada H, Moreno AL, Jennings M. Mitochondria-localized caveolin in adaptation to cellular stress and injury. The FASEB Journal. 2012 Nov;26(11):4637-49.
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