There are many examples in which disease or injury causes damage to a tissue and cells
must be replaced to restore function. It is well established that the rheological properties
(the stiffness) of the matrix on which a cell is grown, strongly influences its development.
Cells flourish when the matrix matches the stiffness of the tissue from which they originate
– one can intuitively appreciate that brain, muscle and bone tissue are of vastly different
stiffness. Most importantly, the commitment to different differentiated cell types of
mesenchymal stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells is determined by the stiffness of
the matrix on which they are grown. Thus, for precision regenerative medicine, the ability
to create matrices of defined stiffness is essential.
The student will design and characterize new stimuli-responsive protein-based hydrogels,
whose macroscopic properties are encoded in the microscopic properties of their
constituents. The student will use a multitude of physical methods (including
microrheology, rheology, and variety of microscopies and imaging techniques) to
characterize the properties of the new gels. The student will also develop new ways to
collate and assess data that is currently available in this area, and to assess and
interrogate their own data.
The student will become expert in the methods and data analyses of the specific project,
but will also gain a broad understanding of the breath of precision medicine,
encompassing both quantitative and qualitative data and its analysis: The T-shaped
In addition to engaging with the Precision Medicine student cohort and faculty, the student
will also interact with many different researchers across the College of Science and
Engineering and the College of Medicine. The student will also participate in engagement
and outreach activities of the Regan lab, which seek to bring a better understanding of
science and scientists to the general public and to encourage those from underrepresented
groups to consider a career in science.
This MRC programme is joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. You will be registered at the host institution of the primary supervisor detailed in your project selection.
All applications should be made via the University of Edinburgh, irrespective of project location: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=919
Please note, you must apply to one of the projects and you should contact the primary supervisor prior to making your application. Additional information on the application process if available from the link above.
For more information about Precision Medicine visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/usher/precision-medicine https://www.ed.ac.uk/usher/precision-medicine/project-opportunities