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Metabolism as a regulator of stressed haematopoiesis; implications for liver function during ageing. (BERAZAQ20DTP1)

   Graduate Programme

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  Dr N Beraza  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

During homeostasis, our body’s immunological defence relies on the expansion and differentiation of haematopoietic stem cells (HSC). In response to infection, HSC rapidly generate immune cells that are recruited into the liver and the intestine to clear up the infection. This process is metabolically demanding as HSC require high loads of energy to orchestrate the immune response.

As we age, our immune system is less and less efficient as HSC self-renewal capacity is lower and linage commitment is compromised. For this reason, during ageing there is an increased incidence of malignancies (cancer) and chronic systemic inflammation, overall contributing to health decline.

The aim of this project is to define the mechanisms underpinning haematopoiesis and the immune response during ageing, with a focus on cell metabolism regulation.

To gain a better understanding of how haematopoiesis is regulated will enable us to propose strategies to preserve and improve the function of our immune system and to maintain health during ageing.

This project will be carried out at the Beraza Lab at Quadram Institute, combining research laboratories with clinical facilities, in close collaboration with the Rushworth Lab, based at the Norwich Medical School (University of East Anglia).

This collaborative project will enable the PhD student to learn a variety of in vivo techniques, including animal handling as well as isolation of immune cells. The student will receive training in molecular biology methodologies including, analysis of gene expression by qPCR and proteins by western blot, ELISA and immunohistochemistry. The student will also learn to characterise the different immune cells compartments by flow cytometry (FACS) and to perform histopathological analysis of different tissues. As well, the student will achieve a series of valuable transferable skills essential for the progression of her/his scientific career.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.
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