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Drosophila as a model to study local and systemic regulation of intestinal homeostasis

Cell Biology of Cancer

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Dr J Cordero No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute is one of Europe's leading cancer research centres, supporting cutting-edge work into the molecular mechanisms of cancer development. We provide an outstanding research environment, underpinned by state-of-the-art core services and advanced technologies with special emphasis on imaging, metabolomics and in vivo models.

Long-term maintenance of self-renewing epithelia relies on tight coordination of tissue intrinsic and systemic signals. How these signals influence each other to preserve tissue homeostasis and organismal health is unclear.

The adult intestine is a major organ with vital physiological, endocrine, immune and metabolic roles. These functions are achieved by specialised cells such as absorptive enterocytes and secretory enteroendocrine cells, which are generated and replenished by intestinal stem cells. Additionally, the intestine interacts remotely or directly with multiple tissues and organs.

Work in our laboratory is devoted to understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating intestinal stem cell proliferation during tissue homeostasis, regeneration and tumourigenesis, through the use of Drosophila and mammalian model systems. We are also interested in understanding how the intestine interacts with other tissues and organs to maintain whole-body health and how these interactions are deregulated in cancer. Our research has direct implications in health and disease as it can aid the identification of approaches to restore intestinal regeneration as well as the development of therapies aimed to prevent malignant transformation in the intestine and alleviate the systemic consequences of intestinal malfunction.

Projects in the lab that will be available for development through this studentship include:

  1. Understanding the role and regulation of gut-associated tissues such as the vasculature and enteric neurons in intestinal stem cell proliferation.
  2. Studying local and systemic functions of enteroendocrine cells during intestinal regeneration.

These projects will primarily entail work on adult Drosophila, followed by translation of key results into a suitable mammalian paradigm, mainly mouse intestinal models.

For informal enquiries or further details on the project, please email Dr Julia Cordero ( [Email Address Removed])

To apply, and for further details on the application process, please visit our website: do not email your CV.

Funding Notes

Studentships are funded for 4 years. The annual stipend will be £19,000.


Perochon J, Yu Y, Aughey GN, Southall TD, and Cordero JB. Dynamic adult tracheal plasticity drives stem cell adaptation to changes in intestinal homeostasis. bioRxiv 2021 doi:

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