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University of Portsmouth Featured PhD Programmes
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MASTERS BY RESEARCH PROJECT Using Zebrafish to Study Heart Disease and Tissue Regeneration


School of Physiology and Pharmacology

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Dr R Richardson Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Start 23 September 2019

Our Main Interests and Skills:
• In vivo animal models
• Live imaging and sophisticated microscopy
• Inflammation
• Tissue repair and regeneration (skin and heart)
• Heart disease models (heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmias)
• Cell-cell communication
• CRISPR technology

Our lab is interested in modelling different aspects of heart disease and tissue repair/regeneration using zebrafish as a model. We are particularly interested in the inflammatory response to tissue injury and the roles this may play in promoting regeneration of damaged organs. The inflammatory response to an acute or ischaemic injury (such as a heart attack) is an inevitable and necessary part of the repair process but directly drives subsequent fibrosis and scar formation in mammals. Adult zebrafish, by contrast, deposit scar tissue following tissue injury but later resolve it entirely allowing for complete regeneration of organs such as the skin and heart. Our studies show that subtle changes in different immune cells are required for scar removal and tissue regeneration in zebrafish, but we still don’t fully understand how this is controlled. We have several projects currently available in the lab including: investigating how ageing effects immune cells and tissue repair and regeneration; live imaging the movement of immune cells into the heart; determining which genes are involved in controlling immune cell behaviour during regeneration; using CRISPR technology to introduce specific cardiovascular disease-causing mutations; deciphering the ways cells communicate during repair and regeneration. If you are interested in doing any of these projects for a MSc by Research or would like to hear more or visit the lab, please get in touch.


Please visit the UOB/faculty of Life Sciences/ School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience/ postgraduate studies website for the complete list of available MSc by Research projects.

Funding Notes

This is a one-year, self-funded Masters (MSc) by research. Fees are £4300 (UK/EU Fee) and bench costs are £5000. Applicants should have (or expect to receive) the equivalent of a First or Upper second-class honours degree in a biomedical discipline.

When applying please select the Faculty of Life Sciences, MSc by Research, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience


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