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Physics of tissue growth control

  • Full or part time
    Dr G Salbreux
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, November 12, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

This 4-year PhD studentship is offered in Dr Guillaume Salbreux’s Group based at the Francis Crick Institute (the Crick).

A fundamental question in biology is how organs establish their correct size during development. This PhD project is for a student interested in developing physical theories of biological systems aimed at understanding the control of organ size. The student will develop a physical model describing mechanical as well as signalling and information processing aspects of growth control. We wish to understand how physical forces and cell-cell communication combine to stop growth at the appropriate tissue size. The project will involve a combination of analytical description using continuum theories, and numerical simulations using vertex models of tissue mechanics. To relate theoretical results to experimental quantifications, the student will be involved in a current collaboration with the experimental group of Nic Tapon at the Crick, working on mechanisms of tissue growth arrest in the Drosophila melanogaster abdomen. Quantitative analysis of cell motion and signalling activity in this system will be used to investigate general mechanisms of growth regulation. In addition, the project will explore how these mechanisms are conserved in evolution, by analysing species closely related to Drosophila melanogaster.

Candidate background
This project would suit candidates with a background in theoretical physics or applied mathematics, and interested in quantitative analysis of biological systems.

Talented and motivated students passionate about doing research are invited to apply for this PhD position. The successful applicant will join the Crick PhD Programme in September 2020 and will register for their PhD at one of the Crick partner universities (Imperial College London, King’s College London or UCL).

Applicants should hold or expect to gain a first/upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject and have appropriate research experience as part of, or outside of, a university degree course and/or a Masters degree in a relevant subject.

APPLICATIONS MUST BE MADE ONLINE VIA OUR WEBSITE (ACCESSIBLE VIA THE ‘APPLY NOW’ LINK ABOVE) BY 12:00 (NOON) 13 NOVEMBER 2019. APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED IN ANY OTHER FORMAT.


Funding Notes

Successful applicants will be awarded a non-taxable annual stipend of £22,000 plus payment of university tuition fees. Students of all nationalities are eligible to apply.



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