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Molecular Programming of blood stem and progenitor cells during vertebrate development

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Gering
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

To maintain the blood system, billions of blood cells need to be generated on a daily basis. This is achieved by blood stem cells, immature blood cells that are able to self-renew and to generate progenitors that are committed to differentiate into mature blood cells. Blood stem cells first form from blood-forming endothelial cells in the bottom wall of the dorsal aorta in the vertebrate embryo. To learn more about the molecular programming that defines and maintains these cells we study blood-forming endothelial cells and blood stem cells in the zebrafish. We have recently performed an RNA-Seq experiment to identify genes expressed in blood-forming endothelial cells. In the course of this project, we have found several candidate genes that may play an essential role in blood stem cell formation. Making use of the latest CRISPR/Cas9 gene targeting technologies in this transparent model organism we want to knock out the candidate genes to study their roles in blood stem cell formation and maintenance. Mutant phenotypes will be studied in transgenic zebrafish lines using state-of-the-art confocal and flow cytometric analyses. Blood stem cells will be tested by an in vivo long-term blood reconstitution assay.

The University of Nottingham is one of the world’s most respected research-intensive universities, ranked 8th in the UK for research power (REF 2014). Students studying in the School of Life Sciences will have the opportunity to thrive in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment, with expert supervision from leaders in their field, state-of-the-art facilities and strong links with industry. Students are closely monitored in terms of their personal and professional progression throughout their study period and are assigned academic mentors in addition to their supervisory team. The School provides structured training as a fundamental part of postgraduate personal development and our training programme enables students to develop skills across the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). During their studies, students will also have the opportunity to attend and present at conferences around the world. The School puts strong emphasis on the promotion of postgraduate research with a 2-day annual PhD research symposium attended by all students, plus academic staff and invited speakers.

Funding Notes

Home applicants should contact the supervisor to determine the current funding status for this project. EU applicants should visit the Graduate School webpages for information on specific EU scholarships http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/GraduateSchool/index.aspx. International applicants should visit our International Research Scholarships page for information regarding fees and funding at the University http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/index.aspx.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

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

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