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Mathieu Latreille /Cellular Identity and Metabolism

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, December 01, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

One of the fundamental questions in biology is how the identity of a cell is preserved in adult organisms and adjusts its identity in response to physiological signals to maintain tissue homeostasis (1). Non-coding RNAs have emerged as crucial modulators of developmental programs regulating cell fate decisions in many organs and their widespread dysregulation and aberrant expression have been shown in several human disorders. Our research group investigates the function of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of pancreatic endocrine cell fate decisions and plasticity during development and their pathophysiological role in diabetes.

Over the past few years, dedifferentiation and transdifferentiation of pancreatic insulin-producing beta-cells (b-cells) has been revealed as a novel mechanism of insulin insufficiency in diabetes. How, when and why insulin-producing b-cells undergo this interconversion in T2D remains unclear and answering these questions is fundamental toward developing new therapies triggering the regeneration of b-cells in diabetes.

The proposed PhD project will make use of recently developed mouse models to understand the how miRNAs modulate the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms underlying the plasticity and regeneration of b-cells. The project will allow the PhD student to learn about mouse genetics and transgenesis and provide technical experience on a wide array of laboratory procedures including single-cell RNA–sequencing, proteomics, cell sorting, quantitative PCR, tissue culture and molecular biology in a vibrant, supporting and stimulating research environment.

To Apply: Please visit our website ( to download an application form.

Funding Notes

This project is one of multiple available projects potentially funded by the MRC. If successful the studentship would cover all tuition fee payments and includes a tax-free stipend amounting to £21,000pa (paid in monthly installments directly to the student) for 3.5 years.

Whilst this funding is available to students worldwide, due to the higher tuition fee rate of overseas students competition is higher and so only exceptional OS applicants will be considered.


Ivey and Srivastava (2010) Cell Stem Cell 7,36
Adams et al. (2017) J Clin Invest 127, 761
Latreille et al. (2014) J Clin Invest 124,2744

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