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BBSRC MIBTP 2020: Understanding life after cell death

Project Description

Apoptosis, a major form of programmed cell death, is frequently activated in response to stress to remove damaged cells in multi-cellular organisms. It is therefore the guardian of health. However, it has long been a mystery how tissue recovers after damaged cells are removed. Work by us and others has revealed that, surprisingly, apoptotic cells can actively promote compensatory proliferation of their neighbouring cells to maintain tissue homeostasis, a process termed Apoptosis-induced Proliferation (AiP). Recent studies in several organisms including Drosophila and mammals have revealed that AiP plays critical roles in tissue recovery and regeneration and, in pathological conditions, uncontrolled AiP can lead to excessive tissue overgrowth. Yet there is not much known about regulation of AiP at the cellular and molecular level. This PhD project is designed to further dissect the molecular anatomy of AiP. By using Drosophila as a model organism, combined approaches including genetic epistasis, molecular biology, proteomics, immunohistochemistry, advanced microscopy and quantitative data analysis will be employed to systematically identify and characterise novel regulators of AiP. As AiP is evolutionary conserved, this project will make substantial contributions to our understanding of the cellular strategies and the genetic pathways used to maintain tissue homeostasis and promote tissue repair.

Funding Notes

This studentship is competition funded by the BBSRC MIBTP scheme: View Website
Deadline: January 12, 2020
Number of Studentships available: 50
Stipend: RCUK standard rate (plus travel allowance in Year 1 and a laptop).
The Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership 2020 (MIBTP2020) is a BBSRC-funded doctoral training partnership between the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham, Leicester, Aston and Harper Adams. It delivers innovative, world-class research training across the Life Sciences to boost the growing Bioeconomy across the UK.
To check your eligibility to apply for this project please visit: View Website


Amcheslavsky A., Wang S., Fogarty C., Lindblad J.L., Fan Y. & Bergmann A. (2018). Plasma membrane localization of apoptotic caspases for non-apoptotic functions. Dev Cell 45: 450-464.

Li M., Sun S., Priest J., Bi X. & Fan Y. (2019). Characterization of TNF-induced cell death in Drosophila reveals caspase- and JNK-dependent necrosis and its role in tumor suppression. Cell Death & Disease 10: 613.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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