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The Role of CCR5 in Embryo Development

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Chemokines are small peptides that play key roles in cell migration and signalling. They act primarily by binding specific cell surface receptors to drive intracellular signalling and are key mediators of the immune response. However, in some cases, the receptors to which chemokines bind can be subverted by viruses to infect host cells. Indeed, the chemokine receptor CCR5 is a key entry route through which HIV virus can infect cells. Recently, highly controversial results have reported the deletion of the CCR5 gene in early embryos using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. However, CCR5 signalling is known to be involved in the molecular cross-talk between the embryo and the uterus around the time of implantation, indicating that CCR5 and its ligand play important roles in the establishment of pregnancy. Despite these studies, little is known about the role of CCR5 in formation of the early embryo prior to implantation.
The aim of this collaborative project is to perform a detailed analysis of the function of CCR5 during oocyte maturation, fertilisation and early development. Using appropriate animal models, you will first perform a survey of the expression and localisation of the protein before examining its role in regulating molecular and biochemical aspects of early development.
This is an intellectually challenging opportunity for a motivated student to develop excellent skills in cell biology, early embryo development and molecular and biochemical techniques at the single cell level. It will use methods including advanced fluorescent imaging and cytometry, protein biochemistry, molecular biology at the level of the single cell, liquid chromatography and metabolic assays.

This is a full time PhD in Medical Sciences
For informal inquiries, please contact Dr. Roger Sturmey ()

Location and Research Culture
Hull York Medical School’s unique partnership brings together the expertise of both the Universities of Hull and York and offers a thriving environment in which to conduct world-leading research. Strong partnerships with NHS Trusts and community health organisations offer a wide clinical base within which to study those conditions which most affect our communities – improving their health while developing research work that can be applied nationally and globally.
The School’s academic and clinical researchers at have a strong reputation for their work, 85% of which is classed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). Their research is advancing improvements in healthcare – treatment, diagnosis and care – improving the health of people locally and impacting national and international health agendas.
The student will join a dynamic research team and thriving community of graduate students from the UK and overseas in the Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease at the University of Hull. Many students also study in our laboratories at local hospitals across the city. This gives our students unparalleled access to the facilities, academic and clinical expertise to thrive in their research.

Named Academic
Dr. Roger Sturmey, Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Medicine, Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease.

Start Date
To be arranged upon acceptance of an offer.

Qualification Required
In order to qualify for this position, you will require either an MSc in Reproductive Biology or a related discipline or undergraduate degree with at least a 2.1, or equivalent, in a relevant subject (Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Pharmacology or related discipline). English Language IELTS 6.5 with a minimum 6.0 in all components.

How to Apply
All applications MUST be submitted through the HYMS Postgraduate Centre via the online application system:

Please apply for a “PhD in Medical Sciences” at Hull York Medical School. Please quote HYMS with the scholarship title when applying. In order for the Panel to get a sense of your academic background, commitment and interest, you are required to complete the application form in full and provide a research proposal/outline of academic interest. Research proposals and personal statements may be used in selecting applicants for interview. If you have any queries on how to apply, please email .

Funding Notes

Self-funded students only - if you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either through a scholarship or your own finances, your application will be considered.
In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, funding must also include a £10,000 per year Research Training Support charge over three years to cover costs of experimental work.

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