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BBSRC White Rose DTP Studentship - Matrix, mechanics and morphogenesis: Investigating the biomechanical properties of extracellular matrix which shape the developing heart


   School of Biosciences

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  Dr E Noel, Prof D Lacroix, Prof G Reilly  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Noël lab at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with the Lacroix and Reilly groups, is looking for an enthusiastic PhD student to investigate biomechanical roles of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in heart development.

We study how the heart acquires its complex structure from simple origins as a linear tube during embryogenesis. The heart contains a layer of ECM (known as ‘cardiac jelly’) which is important for cardiac development. Cardiac jelly plays multiple roles in organ development, including providing biomechanical cues to surrounding tissues that support processes including morphogenesis. 

This project will investigate the biomechanical properties of the cardiac jelly, and how ECM composition influences these properties and promotes heart morphogenesis. The successful applicant will gain training in live lightsheet imaging in zebrafish embryos, quantitative image analyses and mechanical modelling, working with a range of zebrafish models, including altered ECM models.

We are seeking a curious individual with a passion for developmental biology, morphogenesis, and state-of-the-art imaging. An interest in developing bespoke image analysis techniques or familiarity with mathematical modelling would be advantageous. Good organization and communication skills are essential. Interested students can contact Emily Noël ([Email Address Removed]) for more information, and applications are encouraged from under-represented groups in STEM.

The BBSRC WR DTP and the University of Sheffield are committed to recruiting future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and we have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Note: Relocation costs for international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) will be the responsibility of the student 

 Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions. 

 Click to apply

Programme: PhD in Mechanistic Biology (4 years)

Start Date: 1st October 2023

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed mid February 2023


Funding Notes

This project is part of the BBSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology. Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 4 years. The funding includes:
• Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£17,668 for 2022 starts)
• UK tuition fees (£4,596 for 2022)
• Research support and training grant (RSTG)
We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK and are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme

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