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Determining novel molecular regulators of necrosis controlling premature cell death

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

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.


To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

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, NERC) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are normally only available to UK nationals (or EU nationals resident in the UK) but part-funded studentships may be available to EU applicants resident outside of the UK. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is typically at the end of 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 at the end of January each year.

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).

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available View Website and further information is also available on the School of Biosciences website View Website


• 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) 

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)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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