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  Single-cell lipidomics - a multimodal study of metabolic pathways

   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof P Gardner, Prof Nick Lockyer  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Background: Fundamental processes mediated by lipids are currently a major focus of research in fields including biomedicine, biotechnology and basic bioscience. Lipid metabolism in cellular processes including drug-cell interactions and disease progression are generally poorly understood. For example, during cancer metastasis key lipids alter the composition of lipid rafts which migrate towards the leading edge of migrating cells.

 Project Aims: This project will apply the latest high-resolution chemical imaging techniques to probe lipid metabolism within cellular systems. The goal is to provide new insights into biochemical processes driven by cellular lipids. State-of-the-art Mass Spectrometric, Infrared, Raman and Optical Photothermal (OPTIR) hyperspectral imaging techniques will be employed. Importantly, the methodology we will develop will be broadly applicable to a wide range of important cellular bioscience problems.

 Applicant criteria: The project will suit a highly motivated student excited by the opportunity of research at the Life Science Interface, applying cutting -edge physical science techniques to societal challenges in biomedicine. You will have a first degree in a relevant physical science, engineering or biological subject and be embedded with a multidisciplinary research team in the Photon Science Institute.

 National Importance: The research project aligns strongly with UKRI strategic priorities. Mass Spectrometric and Vibrational Spectroscopic Imaging techniques are transformative technologies complementing existing bioscience tools. The project has broad application in studies including e.g. disease progression and wound-healing and fits with the strategic challenge bioscience for an integrated understanding of health. The project requires cross-disciplinary convergence combining a physico-chemical understanding of evolving analytical technology, multivariate statistical methods for the analysis of the complex datasets (data-driven biology) and the ability to set the findings in the context of cell biology.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

 We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder). 

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This is a PSI funded project for a Home student. The funding is allocated specifically to this project. A full scholarship may be available to exceptional international candidates.