The immune system plays important roles in both the response to infection and in tissue repair and homeostasis. It is a complex system made up of multiple specialised cell types, each of which must communicate with each other to coordinate an effective response. An individual immune cell must therefore be able to receive and integrate multiple incoming signals. Incoming signals are detected by receptor proteins that then transmit the signal via networks of intracellular proteins to induce the required cellular response. To date, many of the studies on intracellular signalling have focused on what occurs downstream of one specific receptor, and we understand much less about how cells integrate signals when multiple types of receptors are co-activated.
This project will study this process in mast cells using two of their physiological stimuli, IL-33 and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). Mast cells are a subset of tissue resident immune cells often found close to ‘barrier sites’ in the skin, lungs and gut. Outside of the nervous system they are the main source of histamine, an important inflammatory mediator that increases the permeability of blood vessels, aiding immune cell recruitment, and promotes itching. The location of mast cells makes them ideally placed to respond to damage of the endothelial or epithelial barriers. Damage at these sites results in IL-33 release, which in turn activates mast cells and leads to inflammation. Inflammation also stimulates localised production of PGE2, which modulates the function of multiple immune cells including mast cells. To examine how IL-33 and PGE2 signalling interacts quantitative phospho-proteomics will be used to map changes in intracellular signalling pathways. Through this work we hope to identify proteins that could be used to target mast cell function when they are involved in pathologies, such as allergy or Mastocytosis. While important for mast cell function, this work may also have implications for other immune cells; prostaglandin also affects the output of several other immune cell types when activated with stimuli that act on cells in a similar way to IL-33. The principles identified in this study may therefore inform work in other immune cells.
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