Vitamin D3 deficiency is a common public health problem worldwide that is increasingly believed to contribute not only to decreased bone mineralisation but potentially to other serious medical conditions. Interestingly, there is even increasing evidence of links between obesity and vitamin D3 deficiency. However, the mechanisms underlying these associations remain poorly understood. This project will look at the cellular actions of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 formation on vascular cells and on cells of the endocrine system, with particular regard to understanding how the vitamin D signals within the cells. Since chronic kidney disease is associated with low vitamin D levels and life-threatening vascular calcification the project will also look at the role of the vitamin D receptor in smooth muscle cells mineralisation. The techniques involved in this project include hormone assay, live cell calcium imaging, kinase assays and transfection with siRNAs for the selective knockdown of calciotropic signal regulators.
Training/techniques to be provided:
Intracellular signalling measured using a) FRET-based cell imaging and b) Epifluorescence microscopy
Cell culture, transfection, gene knockdown and cell assay. Smooth Muscle Cell mineralisation
Molecular techniques including Immunoblotting, Immunofluorescence, RT-PCR and mutagenesis
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience, particularly in cell culture and molecular biology, are particularly encouraged to apply.
How To Apply
For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/). Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select PhD Genetics
For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/equality-diversity-inclusion/”
For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk