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Cancer and ageing: studying leukaemia & blood stem cell exhaustion in short-lived African killifish

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  • Full or part time
    Dr E Payne
    Prof J Bahler
    Dr Giovanni Stefani
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Cancer is overwhelmingly a disease of the elderly, and age is its largest risk factor. Clonal, age-associated populations of haematopoietic cells have been found in large numbers of haematopoietically normal humans. These account for up to 20% of the population by age 90. Such populations are driven by mutations in leukaemia-associated genes and predispose to the development of various forms of haematopoietic malignancy. The short-lived African killifish is emerging as a potent vertebrate model system for ageing and associated diseases due to its short lifespan accompanied by attributes associated with human ageing such as telomere attrition, mitochondrial dysfunction, loss of proteostasis, decreased muscular mass, malformations of spine and face, as well as frequent occurrence of spontaneous cancers, including haematopoietic cancers. The project will aim to develop novel killifish models of age-associated clonal haematopoiesis using CRISPR/Cas9 and tol2-mediated transgenesis to determine their effects on haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in an aging milieu.

The student will benefit from the diverse complementary expertise of the supervisory team, including a clinical researcher, zebrafish modelling (Payne) and experts in genetics/cell biology and molecular biology (Bähler/Stefani). All supervisors will be actively engaged in the PhD project. The student is expected to spend roughly 50% in both laboratories, which will naturally fluctuate depending on the types of ongoing experiments.

More detailed information about the research project is available on request from [Email Address Removed] or [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Funded by Cancer Research UK

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