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  Dr Guilherme Costa  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This proposal aims to investigate how localised mRNA translation within endothelial cells regulates blood vessel formation.

Angiogenesis, or the emergence of new blood vessels, is a complex biological process that involves the coordinated migration of endothelial cells. As they navigate through tissues, leading endothelial cells present at the tip of new sprouting vessels are guided by environmental signalling factors. These cues are critical modulators of the molecular and cellular responses triggered during angiogenesis. Amongst other factors, messenger RNAs are asymmetrically distributed in motile endothelial cells. Some of these messenger RNAs are transported to the front of these cells where they may be locally translated into proteins that actively participate in cell motility. 

We are looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic students to embark on a PhD project that addresses unanswered questions in the fields of messenger RNA localisation and local translation in the context of angiogenesis.

In this project you will investigate 1) the nature of the newly synthesised proteins and 2) the signalling machinery that modulates messenger RNA translation in the context of angiogenesis. To explore these two themes, you will take advantage of a wide range of cell culture techniques to mimic angiogenesis in vitro. These will be used in combination with molecular biology, biochemistry, proteomics and advanced microscopy imaging approaches designed to explore how and why particular messenger RNAs are translated into proteins at the front of endothelial cells

Your project will be undertaken in an exciting and collaborative environment at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, where you will work next to worldwide experts in the field of vascular research. The studies proposed in this project will contribute to further understanding of mechanisms of blood vessel formation and provide a novel avenue in the pursuit for angiogenesis-related therapies.

Start Date: October 2022

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