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  Determining novel molecular regulators of necrosis controlling premature cell death

   School of Biosciences

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  Dr Yun Fan  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Necrosis, a form of premature cell death, is frequently caused by excessive insults such as trauma, infection and toxins. It has been implicated in many human diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and inflammatory diseases. Although it has long been considered to be passive and uncontrolled, recent studies have revealed that necrosis can be genetically regulated therefore potentially manageable. However, our knowledge about regulation of necrosis is still very limited. It is partly due to lack of in vivo assays for systematic analyses. To address this, we have developed a model of regulated necrosis using Drosophila, an organism with advantages of genetic manipulation, and revealed the relevance of necrosis to tumour suppression. This PhD project is to employ this assay to further identify and characterise novel regulators of necrosis in an intact organism, with the aim to explore how necrosis can be managed in human diseases.

State-of-the-art technologies in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Advanced Microscopy Imaging and Drosophila Genetics are employed in this research.


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Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.

The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are available for both UK nationals and overseas students. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is typically in early January each year.

Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships. These are provided by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and are for non-UK students wishing to undertake a PhD in the general area of Molecular Microbiology. The deadline for this scheme is also typically in early January each year.

Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. We have a thriving community of international PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students able to find their own funding or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship, Islamic Development Bank). Applications to our competitive funding are normally closed in early January each year.

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available


• Li M., Sun S., Priest J., Bi X. and 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 Dis 10 (8): 613.

• Fan Y.* and Bergmann A.* (2014) Multiple mechanisms modulate distinct cellular susceptibilities towards apoptosis in the developing Drosophila eye. Dev Cell, 30(1):48-60. (*corresponding authors) 

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