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Developing a Novel Skin Culture System for Interrogating Dandruff Formation

Project Description

4 year BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship

Dandruff is a common skin condition, characterised in part by an imbalance of Malassezia and Staphylococcus in the skin microbiome. Studies have identified underlying phenotypic similarities between dandruff and some skin diseases, suggesting dandruff manifestation may be linked to integral differences in keratinocytes and immune cell function as well as changes in the skin microbiome. We propose that there is an intrinsic imbalance in stress-response processes in dandruff skin, akin to some processes in skin diseases, in addition to skin-microbiome imbalances.

The aim of this PhD will be to elucidate the differences between intrinsic skin cellular responses and changes driven by the microbiome in dandruff. The PhD will involve collecting healthy control and dandruff skin samples and subject them to a range of analysis. The student will gain a broad range of sophisticated skills from primary cell culture, creation of cell lines, generation of 2D and 3D skin models, microbiology, high content image analysis, RNASeq/transcriptomics, bioinformatics and predictive modelling techniques, ultimately to better identify intervention points for dandruff.

This project is in partnership with Unilever R&D and incorporates an industrial training placement. Extensive training will be provided in all aspects of the study, combining the diverse strengths from both QMUL and Unilever to create a well-supported and exciting PhD project.

Applicants should hold (or expect to obtain) a minimum upper-second honours degree (or equivalent) in biology, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology or a related biological/medical science area. Previous experience of some of the techniques referenced above would be an advantage, as would a related Masters qualification.

Academic: Prof. Mike Philpott & Dr. Rosalind Hannen Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research (CBCR), Blizard Institute.
Industry: Dr Jenny Pople & Dr Ranjit Bhogal, Unilever

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Ros Hannen () in advance of the deadline. Please submit formal applications via the ’Visit Website’ link below.

Funding Notes

This 4-year full-time BBSRC CASE studentship provides full support for UK/EU tuition fees and an annual minimum tax-free stipend of £21,009. The project is due to commence October 2019 and is open to UK/EU* nationals only due to the nature of the funding. This award aims to support the most talented and ambitious new researchers, with a history of academic excellence.

*Applicants must be UK/EU nationals who have resided in the UK since at least 1 September 2017 in order to qualify for full funding. Please visit the link below for full eligibility details View Website

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