In multi-cellular organisms, coordinated cell death (e.g. apoptosis) and cell replacement is critical for tissue recovery in response to stress or damage. Although there is not much known about this process at the cellular and molecular level, recent studies including ours have discovered that apoptotic cells can actively induce compensatory proliferation of surrounding cells through a non-apoptotic function of caspases, a family of cysteine-proteases that normally execute apoptosis. This research aims to dissect the molecular anatomy of compensatory cell proliferation following activation of apoptosis. By taking advantages of Drosophila as a model organism, we have developed unique assays to systematically identify and characterize regulators of compensatory cell proliferation. Because apoptosis-induced compensatory cell proliferation has been observed in tissue regeneration and tumorigenesis in multiple organisms including mammals, identification of its underlying regulatory mechanisms in Drosophila will significantly impact our understanding of its physiological role in tissue repair as well as its pathological role in multiple human diseases including cancer.
State-of-the-art technologies in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Advanced Microscopy Imaging and Drosophila Genetics are employed in this research.
To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/study/postgraduate
Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.
The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC MIBTP, https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mibtp/index.aspx) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are available to both UK nationals and overseas students. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is typically in early January each year.
Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships. These are provided by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and are for non-UK students wishing to undertake a PhD in the general area of Molecular Microbiology. The deadline for this scheme is also typically in early January each year.