This course allows you to work alongside our world renowned experts from the School of Life Sciences and gain a ’real research’ experience. You will have the opportunity to select a research project from a variety of thematic areas of research.
You will be part of our collaborative working environment and have access to outstanding shared facilities such as microscopy and proteomics. Throughout your year, you will develop an advanced level of knowledge on your topic of interest as well as the ability to perform independent research in the topic area. Alongside basic science training in experimental design, data handling and research ethics, we will help you to develop skills in critical assessment and communication. This will be supported by workshops in scientific writing, presentation skills, ethics, laboratory safety, statistics, public engagement and optional applied bioinformatics.
The Findlay lab employs cutting-edge technologies to unravel Embryonic Stem (ES) cell signalling networks (Williams et al, Cell Rep 2016, Fernandez-Alonso et al, EMBO Rep 2017; Bustos et al, Cell Rep 2018), culminating in our recent discovery of the ERK5 pathway as an exciting new regulator of ES cell pluripotency. In order to uncover functions of ERK5 in ES cells, this project will deploy global proteomic and phosphoproteomic profiling. Novel ERK5 substrates and transcriptional networks will be characterised using biochemical and ES cell biology approaches. A further aim is to investigate functions of ERK5 in human patient -derived iPS cell maintenance and lineage-specific differentiation to neurons, cardiomyocytes etc.
This research will be undertaken in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU), one of the world’s leading centres studying the role of cell signalling in health and disease. Students will have access to state -of-the-art tools to dissect signalling networks, and opportunity for interaction with three major Pharmaceutical companies that support the MRC-PPU via the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy. The Findlay lab is also affiliated with the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, which comprises world experts in stem cell research.