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Mechanistic involvement of sodium in cell metabolism and signalling

Project Description

Our cells constantly sense and transport ions present in their environment. From
embryonic development to epilepsy to heart disease to cancer, our cells’ ability
to respond to changes in the ionic microenvironment is essential for healthy
ageing. We recently discovered a new link between sodium transporters and
amino acid metabolism. This could be a mechanism of integrating ionic signals
into cell-cell communication. In this project, you will build on these findings and
explore how sodium transport affects cell metabolism and communication
between cells, with a specific focus on tumour/immune cell interaction.
We will use a range of sophisticated microscopy approaches, e.g. confocal
microscopy and ptychography, to explore the functional activity of ion pumps and
their effect on amino acid metabolism and immune signalling. We will modulate
pump expression using pharmacological and genetic (RNAi, CRISPR)
techniques. Importantly, we will measure pump activity using a combination of
whole cell patch clamp recording and ion-sensitive dyes. We will also study the
effects of ion pump activity on downstream signalling and cellular behaviour
using molecular cell biology approaches. The project will therefore expose the
student to a range of cutting-edge cell biology techniques in labs that are leading
in this field. As ion transport plays a key role in normal cellular physiology and in
a number of diseases, this project is expected to provide novel mechanistic
insights into an important, and relatively understudied signalling mechanism.

Funding Notes

Funding: This is a 4 year fully-funded studentship part of the BBSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology. The studentship covers: (i) a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate (around £15,000 per year), (ii) tuition fees at UK/EU rate, (iii) research consumables and training necessary for the project.

Entry requirements: At least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science. Students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions are also welcome to apply.


Eligibility: The studentships are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Further information about eligibility for Research Council UK funding

Shortlisting: Applicants will be notified if they have been selected for interview in the week commencing on Monday 28 January 2019.

Interviews: Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview to take place in the Department of Biology at the University of York on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 February 2019. Prior to the interview candidates will be asked to give a 5 minute presentation on a research project carried out by them.

How good is research at University of York in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.37

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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