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MScR: Dynamic cell and tissue responses to damage: understanding tissue repair and inflammation


   School of Biochemistry


About the Project

Our lab is interested in the fundamental mechanisms used by cells and tissues to recover from damage. The ability to rapidly repair after injury is a key feature of many tissues, including the skin. This robust regenerative capacity is crucial since our bodies are frequently exposed to harmful insults, both from external sources (e.g. surgery, infection or pollution) as well as from internal processes (such as physiology or metabolism). 

Tissue damage normally triggers an inflammatory response, as innate immune cells (e.g. neutrophils) leave the circulation and migrate along complex routes in order to fight infection and orchestrate repair. A better understanding of these processes has huge clinical potential, not only to improve post-operative healing, but also to treat those individuals suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g. autoimmune conditions) or debilitating non-healing wounds.

In this MScR project, we will use state-of-the-art in vivo imaging, genome engineering and multi-omics (including single cell RNA-seq and proteomics) to explore the molecular and cellular mechanisms underpinning tissue repair and inflammation. We will follow these highly dynamic processes live at the subcellular level using state-of-the-art microscopy and use advanced genetic manipulation and omics to dissect the underlying molecular mechanisms. Projects are available to study (1) how damaged cells (and sub-cellular components) recover rapidly following injury (2) how leukocytes squeeze out across blood vessel walls and migrate towards inflamed tissues.

Our ultimate goal is to identify potential therapeutic targets for accelerating tissue repair and modulating inflammation in the clinic. We therefore take an inter-disciplinary approach that integrates in vivo lab studies with cutting-edge human genetic epidemiology.

See the Weavers lab website for more details: http://www.tissueresilience.com

MSc by Research (MScR) is a 1-year research degree that provides an intensive lab-based training and a preparation for PhD study. You will carry out your studies as part of your research group – like a PhD student does. Towards the end of the year, you write up a thesis on your research and are examined on this. This degree suits students wanting to gain maximum research experience in preparation for PhD applications. 

We are keen to recruit a diverse range of students and to ensure our research is open to all. We particularly welcome applications from groups traditionally under-represented in life sciences research. Please check the University webpages for the current tuition fee information. Most MScR projects also require a bench fee. This varies depending on the research and your project supervisor can tell you the bench fee for the project.

How to apply:

Use the following link to apply: Start your application | Study at Bristol | University of Bristol

You should apply to the Faculty of Life Sciences, School of Biochemistry selecting the programme: Biochemistry - MSc by Research.

Please ensure you upload all supporting documents as per the admissions statement (which applies to both PhD and MScR programmes): PhD Biochemistry | Study at Bristol | University of Bristol.

Clearly indicate the supervisor name and project title in the relevant section of the application form.

The system will not allow you to submit your application without uploading a document to the research statement section.  Where this is an optional requirement, please upload a blank Word document which is headed “No research statement required”.

Applications are accepted all year round. However, the preferred entry points for study are September / January / April / July.


Funding Notes

This project is for students who can fund the project themselves; however, you are eligible to apply for a University of Bristol Think Big Postgraduate Award (View Website) If you are a UK student from a Black background then you are eligible to apply for an Opportunity Bristol Scholarship (View Website)

References

1. Weavers H and Martin P. The cell biology of inflammation: From common traits to remarkable immunological adaptations J Cell Biol (2020) 219 (7): e202004003
2. Weavers H, Wood W and Martin P. Injury activates a dynamic cytoprotective network to confer stress resilience and drive repair. Current Biology (2019) 29: 3851-3862. Featured on the Cover & recommended by Faculty 1000.
3. Thuma L, Carter D, Weavers H* and Martin P*. Drosophila immune cells extravasate from vessels to wounds using Tre1 GPCR and Rho signaling. J Cell Biol (2018) 217, 3045–3056. *co-corresponding authors
4. Weavers H, Evans I, Martin P and Wood W. Corpse Engulfment Generates a Molecular Memory that Primes the Macrophage Inflammatory Response. Cell (2016) 165,1658-1671. Recommended by Faculty 1000.

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