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.
Lethal giant larvae (Lgl) is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of cell polarity initially identified in fruit flies. Lgl regulates the actomyosin cytoskeleton and is important to maintain epithelial polarity and integrity. Loss of Lgl occurs in high frequency in human solid malignancies like colon cancer and can drive tumour formation in flies. Importantly, replacing the fly version of Lgl with the Human homolog can substitute all functions in the fly demonstrating functional conservation. The molecular mechanism of action of Lgl has, however, remained mysterious. This project aims at shedding light on the normal function of the tumour suppressor Lgl in fly epithelia and neural stem cells to understand its role in tumorigenesis. The lab has generated new tools allowing the analysis of endogenous Lgl in living tissue as well as the identification of tissue and cell cycle specific binding partners.
In this project these tools will be characterised using state-of-the-art confocal live cell microscopy and biochemical approaches as well as CrispR/Cas9 and genetics to unravel the molecular mechanism of Lgl in epithelia and asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells.