About the Project
We recently identified that resident macrophages in the peritoneal cavity of female mice are primed to provide heightened resistance to peritoneal infection (1). We still do not know why these cells exhibit this heightened barrier function. Revealingly, peritoneal macrophages are also implicated in sexually-dimorphic production of natural antibody that protect females and developing offspring against enteropathogenic infection (PMID: 30250184), but also have a unique migratory capacity allowing them to rapidly enter injured internal organs to promote tissue repair and prevent fibrosis (2).
In this project, the student will test the hypothesis that in females, peritoneal macrophages are geared to resist and deal with ascendant intrauterine bacterial infection during pregnancy and/or uterine remodelling that occurs during pregnancy and post-birth. Using our novel physiologic model of ascending intrauterine infection with Ureaplasma parvum that leads to pre-term birth in mice (3) combined with in vivo cell fate-mapping and cell-depletion strategies, the student will determine how peritoneal macrophages respond and function during pregnancy and pre-term infection in mice.
The student will use techniques including whole mount imaging, immunofluorescence microscopy and multi-colour and spectral flow-cytometry of uterine fluid and tissue digests to fate map and interrogate peritoneal macrophages deep within reproductive tract tissue. They will be fully trained in all these techniques as well as in statistics, presentation skills, writing skills, and data management.
For instructions on how to apply for an EASTBIO PhD studentship please refer to http://www.eastscotbiodtp.ac.uk/how-apply-0
Contact Dr Steve Jenkins Stephen.email@example.com before you apply.
We anticipate all EASTBIO (online) interviews will be in the week 8-12 February 2021 with awards made the following week.
Please submit all required documents directly to CIR.Postgraduate@ed.ac.uk
The research group is located in the University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research; a world-class research environment at the interface between biological and medical science, with multidisciplinary groupings focused on inflammation, infection, disease and repair. The Centre is based within the Edinburgh Medical School in the outstanding facilities of the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at the site of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh hospital, maximising future translational opportunities.
Refer to UKRI website View Website and Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions View Website for full eligibility criteria.
2 Wang, J. & Kubes, P. A Reservoir of Mature Cavity Macrophages that Can Rapidly Invade Visceral Organs to Affect Tissue Repair. Cell 165, 668-678, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.03.009 (2016).
3 Pavlidis, I. et al. Cervical epithelial damage promotes Ureaplasma parvum ascending infection, intrauterine inflammation and preterm birth induction in mice. Nat Commun 11, 199, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-14089-y (2020).
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