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Developmental vascular biology: exploring the origin and function of the vasculature

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  • Full or part time
    Dr T Makinen
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

A 4-year PhD student position to study the origin and function of the lymphatic vasculature is available in the group of Taija Mäkinen at Uppsala University (

The main aim of the lab is to understand how endothelial cells lining blood and lymphatic vessels communicate with each other and the tissue environment to co-ordinate vascular morphogenesis. Most of our research has focused on the lymphatic vasculature that was traditionally considered a passive drainage system responsible for removal of fluid, molecules and cells from tissues. However, emerging evidence shows active roles of lymphatic vessels in inflammation, immunity, lipid metabolism, blood pressure regulation and metastasis, and consequent involvement in common diseases such as obesity, autoimmune diseases, atherosclerosis, hypertension and cancer

Recently, we discovered that lymphatic vasculature is of different cellular origin in different parts of the body (Cell Reports 2015, Circ Res 2015). In this project we aim to functionally characterise the newly discovered lymphatic endothelial stem/progenitor cells. The student will utilise and develop advanced mouse genetic tools (genetic lineage tracing, conditional tissue-specific gene knock-outs), tissue imaging (confocal, 2-photon and light-sheet microscopy) and cell and molecular biology techniques (including transcriptome analysis by mRNA sequencing). These studies will form the basis for exploration of novel tissue specific functions of the lymphatic vasculature.

The project is supported by a prestigious grant from the European Research Council that funds top science projects in Europe.

More information about the requirements and the online application form are available at the Uppsala University jobs site:


Selected recent publications from the laboratory:
Martinez-Corral et al, Circ Res 2015
Stanczuk et al, Cell Rep 2015
Tatin et al, Dev Cell 2013
Lutter et al, J Cell Biol 2012
Bazigou et al, J Clin Invest 2011

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