The process by which stem cell populations are established and maintained is highly relevant to understanding ageing, degenerative diseases and cancer. In the blood system, age-related clonal haematopoiesis in otherwise healthy individuals is an indicator of early disease development and linked with mutations in epigenetic modifiers. Recently we showed that a protein called Cip1-interacting Zinc finger protein 1 (CIZ1) protects against haematological malignancies in mice, and influences the stability of at least three different histone post-translational modifications (PTMs), making it a candidate epigenetic modifier with possible function in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and disease avoidance.
This project will establish the role of CIZ1 in primary HSCs making use of existing genetically modified mice, and derived cell populations, and drawing on the expertise of two supervisors specialising in CIZ1 or HSC biology. The project will involve flow cytometry for isolating and characterising blood cell populations, and will use a wide range of single cell molecular assays (e.g., single cell RNA-sequencing, single cell ATAC-sequencing), functional and in vitro transplantation assays, as well as population analysis using well established cell biology techniques.
Benefits of being in the DiMeN DTP:
This project is part of the Discovery Medicine North Doctoral Training Partnership (DiMeN DTP), a diverse community of PhD students across the North of England researching the major health problems facing the world today. Our partner institutions (Universities of Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, York and Sheffield) are internationally recognised as centres of research excellence and can offer you access to state-of the-art facilities to deliver high impact research.
We are very proud of our student-centred ethos and committed to supporting you throughout your PhD. As part of the DTP, we offer bespoke training in key skills sought after in early career researchers, as well as opportunities to broaden your career horizons in a range of non-academic sectors.
Being funded by the MRC means you can access additional funding for research placements, international training opportunities or internships in science policy, science communication and beyond. See how our current DiMeN students have benefited from this funding here: http://www.dimen.org.uk/overview/student-profiles/flexible-supplement-awards
Further information on the programme and how to apply can be found on our website: