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MSc by Research: Function of presomitic mesoderm specific phosphorylation of the Notch intracellular domain in somitogenesis

   School of Life Sciences

  Prof J K Dale  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The Notch signalling pathway is one of the key pathways required for the developing embryo. It is especially important for the process of somitogenesis, the formation of body segments that develop into e.g. the bones and muscle of the skeleton. After receiving a signal from a neighbouring cell, the Notch transmembrane protein is cleaved and the Notch intracellular domain (NICD) is released and translocates to the nucleus where it controls expression of developmental specific gene cohorts. 

Recent research in the JKD lab has identified unique residues in NICD that are phosphorylated in presomitic mesoderm (PSM) cells but are not detected in other cell types. Phosphorylation is a key process in the regulation of the stability of NICD. NICD is more unstable in PSM cells compared to other cell types. This is potentially a really important factor as NICD levels oscillate during somitogenesis, with NICD levels changing from high to low to high again in a 5 hour cycle and the regulation NICD stability is critical for this process. 

This project will be using human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that will be differentiated into PSM cells. This is an in vitro model system for the human embryo. The lab is currently also developing protocols for the generation of gastruloids, stem cell derived 3D structures that form somite like structures that can be used to determine if these phosphorylated residues are critical for somitogenesis. The main aim of this project is to determine the function of the phosphorylation of the newly identified phosphoresidues in NICD and the factors and mechanism responsible. 

Please see our website for further details on the programme:

Life Sciences MSc by Research MSc by Research (Postgraduate) : Study : University of Dundee

Please note before submitting your application that you must list your top three project choices in the Research Proposal section of the application form.

You apply for this course using our Direct Application System. Once you've signed up for an account you'll be asked to search for a course.

To find Life Science MSc by Research you should select the following options:

·   Course type: Research Postgraduate

·   Keyword: Life

When you complete your form, you should include your top 3 project choices, 2 letters of reference, uploaded under "Other Information" > "Supporting documents" and a personal statement. Failure to do so will delay your application.

Please note when submitting an application that we have the following deadline dates throughout the year:

September Starts - Application Deadline 1st May, Interview Date - Late June

January Starts - Application Deadline 1st Sep, Interview Date - Late October

May Starts - Application Deadline 1st Feb, Interview Date Late March

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