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Stem cell derived signals in epithelial homeostasis and ageing

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Declining intestinal function is an important contributor to poor health in ageing. The epithelium that lines the intestine is constantly turned over throughout adult life, as cells are lost from the surface and replaced by the proliferation of stem cells. These adult tissue stem cells must be tightly regulated by signals from their local micro-environment, or niche, as loss of homeostasis can lead to tissue failure and risk of disease.

This project will characterise the importance of signals expressed by the stem cells themselves in epithelial maintenance and age-related loss of homeostasis. The student will use the intestinal stem cells of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a simple model system and employ a range of advanced genetic, molecular biology and microscopy approaches to characterise their signals. A laboratory rotation and ongoing collaboration with the second supervisor will allow the student to extend their findings to mammalian intestinal stem cells.

The student will join a friendly and collaborative team sharing a specialist facility for research on invertebrate model organisms and have access to state-of-the-art facilities for microscopy and genomics.

For further information see the website:

To apply

Please complete the online application form and attach a full CV and covering letter. Informal enquiries may be made to

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship under the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham DTP. The successful applicant will receive research costs, tuition fees and stipend (£14,777 for 2018-19). The PhD will start in October 2019. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. EU candidates must have been resident in the UK for 3 years in order to receive full support. There are 2 stages to the application process.


Doupé DP, Marshall OJ, Dayton H, Brand AH, Perrimon N (2018) Drosophila intestinal stem and progenitor cells are major sources and regulators of homeostatic niche signals. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Nov 7 pii: 201719169 [epub ahead of print,]

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