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Signalling pathways controlling the generation of the pharyngeal arches

Project Description

The pharynx is an important region of the body that is involved in many key processes including feeding, respiration, immune and endocrine activities. Although the mature organisation of the pharynx is highly intricate and complex, this territory has its developmental origin in a series of bulges, the pharyngeal arches, found on the lateral surface of the embryonic head. However, we know little about how the development of the pharynx is directed and it is important to understand this, both with respect to how this critical region of the body emerges but also because there are numerous birth defects that present with malformations of this territory. The aim of this project is to understand the mechanisms that control the sequential generation of the pharyngeal arches. We aim to study the interplay between the main signalling pathways that are involved in this process (FGF, RA (retinoic acid) and WNT) and how these impact upon the development of the arches. We further aim to modulate the levels of these signalling pathways to determine if we can alter the number of pharyngeal pouches, and thus arches, generated during development and to assess what effects this has for the anatomy of this region.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have or expect at least an upper second class degree (2:1) in a subject relevant to the proposed project. If applicants possess a lower second class (2:2) then a research-based MSc at merit or distinction level is required.

Students appointed to this studentships will normally be graduates in a biomedical or biological subject. This project would be most suitable for students with knowledge of aspects of developmental biology, embryology, vertebrate biology or anatomy.

Funding Notes

The fully funded studentship for three years covers the following:

Tuition fee (Home/EU rate only)
Stipend (approx. £16,777)
Research fees
Travel allowance
Anatomical Society membership

Full information can be found at: View Website


For information on how to apply, please visit the IoPPN website:

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