About the Project
This project will utilise single cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) and ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) data to explore gene regulation and cellular heterogeneity in FLS cells in response to stimulation. Samples from individuals with RA will be used to generate both scRNA-seq and scATAC-seq at multiple time points following TNF stimulation. From this, cell sub-types will be identified and gene regulatory networks specific to each sub-type will be used to identify which genes are regulated in response to stimulation. By combining this with known RA associations, genes potentially involved in RA pathogenesis will be identified. These sub-types and genes will be further explored using molecular biology techniques established within our group, including flow cytometry, mass cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF), CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, chromosome conformation capture, ChIP-seq and RNA-seq. This project is an exciting opportunity to work with cutting edge single cell data and molecular biology techniques. It has the potential to gain insights into the role of FLS in the development and progression of RA, how an individuals’ genetics could contribute to their risk of developing RA and inform drug development.
Training/techniques to be provided:
SE will supervise training in RA epidemiology and literature reviewing and interpreting results. PM will supervise training in single cell and bioinformatics analysis and interpreting results. AM will provide training and support in statistical analysis and interpretation of results. CO will provide training in handling FLS samples, FLS immunology and interpreting results.
Training will be provided in the statistical approaches required to analyse the data available and the interpretation of the results. Specifically, in-house training courses in Epidemiology and statistical analysis are held annually. The successful applicant will join other students and research staff investigating the functional genomics, particularly the immunological aspects of these studies.
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 experience in bioinformatics or with an interest in immunology are encouraged to apply.
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 http://www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk
As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.
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