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Melanocyte proliferation and apoptosis in human skin: lessons from chronic plaque psoriasis

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, November 16, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

A PhD position is now available in the Charles Institute of Dermatology to investigate how epidermis remodeling in the common skin disorder Psoriasis may regulate melanocyte number. The project will investigate if Psoriasis could be a useful model for aiding our understanding how melanocyte proliferation and apoptosis is regulated. Dysregulation of the latter is a prominent feature of melanoma.

Location: Charles Institute of Dermatology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Supervisors: Prof. Desmond J Tobin and Prof. Brian Kirby

Project Background & Description:

Launched in June 2008, UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology is Ireland's premier Institute in dermatology research and training and is part of the UCD School of Medicine. The UCD Charles Institute actively partners with leading companies serving the skin health and care market to deliver specific research and innovation objectives, which will lead to improved patient care through the discovery of new treatments and therapies. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the Institute research teams are working to uncover key drivers of skin diseases.

UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology and the Systems Biology Ireland institute are located space between the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical research and the Health Sciences Centre (School of Medicine). They are physically linked to both buildings, providing access to existing technology platforms, educational and conference facilities and ideally placed to train allied healthcare professionals. These facilities house multidisciplinary teams in these of researchers including biologists, biomedical sciences, biochemists, bioinformaticians, computational scientists, statisticians, modellers, engineers, and physicists.

This PhD student post will be part of an interdisciplinary team working on the quantitative and systems analysis of skin function in health and disease. The project will investigate how cellular dynamics (cell proliferation, differentiation, quiescence/ senescence and programmed cell death/apoptosis are relevant for melanocyte fate in Psoriasis during disease initiation, progression.

The student will gain valuable knowledge in the analysis of signal transduction networks in melanocytes and keratinocytes, protein analysis techniques, and standard methods used in molecular and cell biology. The student will also get to appreciate the clinical aspects of this Psoriasis-focused project through interaction with other colleagues in the team.

Person Specification:

We are looking for a highly motivated, passionate PhD candidate with the ability to independently plan and conduct the research project while integrating into an interdisciplinary research environment. Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second-class honors Bachelors or Masters degree in Cellular/Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or related fields. Excellent analytical and communication skills are preferable. 

Stipend & fees:

The successful candidate will receive a tax-free stipend of €18,500 per annum and their registration fees (EU/Homes students only) will be covered. The position is funded for four years.

Application procedure:

Please send a CV and accompanying documentation including references to Prof. Desmond J. Tobin. Email address:

Closing date: Applications should be received by November 16th 2019.


The University:
UCD School of Medicine:
UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology:

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