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Self funded BMS Project: Understanding normal and malignant blood stem cell biology

   York Biomedical Research Institute

About the Project

Applications accepted for PhD Only


Haematopoiesis is a complex, finely-tuned process that produces trillions of new blood cells daily. Adult haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are responsible for the lifelong maintenance of this system, making it essential to understand their biology. The balance between mature cell production and HSC maintenance is primarily controlled by cytokines binding to receptors on HSCs and activating downstream signaling pathways.


1) Determine the biological role of cytokine receptors in mouse models of blood cancer


This project will take a novel interdisciplinary approach to understand the fundamental mechanism of how cytokine receptors modulate HSC fate choice. It studies single molecules in single HSCs, uses sophisticated mouse models of blood cancers and leveraging new technologies/approaches, applying them to functionally defined HSCs


Current funded research provides expertise in biophysics and bioengineering in addition to core strengths in HSC biology (Kent) and cytokine signaling (Hitchcock). Both the Kent and Hitchcock groups have a strong track record of successful interdisciplinary projects, applying new technologies to address fundamental biological questions in HSC biology (Nature, 2018) and cytokine receptor signaling (Science, 2020).

Experimental Approach:

The project involves cellular and molecular characterisation of HSCs.

Techniques will include HSC transplantation, flow cytometry, RNA-sequencing and super-resolution single molecule microscopy.

The York Biomedical Research Institute at the University of York is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions. 

Programme: PhD in Biomedical Science (3 years)

Start Date: 1st October 2022


Funding Notes

This is a self funded research project. Applicants need to have adequate funds to meet the costs of a self-funded research project including tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research programme.

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