University of Birmingham Featured PhD Programmes
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Featured PhD Programmes
University of Kent Featured PhD Programmes
University of Liverpool Featured PhD Programmes
Brunel University London Featured PhD Programmes

The role of tetraspanin microdomains in angiogenesis

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  • Full or part time
    Dr M Tomlinson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Angiogenesis is the process of new blood vessel formation from existing vessels. It is important in cancer and heart attack/stroke by providing a supply of blood to solid tumours and atherosclerotic plaques, respectively. Angiogenesis is dependent on the proliferation and migration of the endothelial cells that line all blood vessels. Endothelial cell function is regulated by an array of cell surface receptors, adhesion proteins and signalling molecules. Recently it has emerged that several important cell surface proteins are compartmentalised into tetraspanin-enriched membrane microdomains for optimal function. Tetraspanins are key ‘organisers’ of the cell surface and we have found that endothelial cells express up to 20 of the 33 human tetraspanins. However, most of these tetraspanins remain unstudied.

The proposed work will characterise previously unstudied tetraspanins that we have shown to be expressed by endothelial cells. The aim will be to investigate the role of these tetraspanins in angiogenesis through the generation of new antibodies, proteomic identification of associated proteins, RNAi knockdown in primary human endothelial cells and biological assays to examine endothelial cell function. This work may ultimately lead to new drug targets for the treatment of major diseases such as cancer, heart attack and stroke.


To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.
The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC, NERC) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are normally only available to UK nationals (or EU nationals resident in the UK) but part-funded studentships may be available to EU applicants resident outside of the UK. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is 31 January each year.

Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships. These are provided by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and are for non-UK students wishing to undertake a PhD in the general area of Molecular Microbiology. The deadline for this scheme is also 31 January each year.

Funding Notes

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. We have a thriving community of international PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students able to find their own funding or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship, Islamic Development Bank).

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available and further information is also available on the School of Biosciences website


Recent publications

Bailey RL, Herbert JM, Kabir K, Heath VL, Bicknell R and Tomlinson MG (2011).
The emerging role of tetraspanin microdomains on endothelial cells.
Biochemical Society Transactions. In press.

Rubinstein E, Charrin S and Tomlinson MG.
Organisation of the tetraspanin web.
In Tetraspanins (Berditchevski F and Rubinstein E, eds), Springer. In press.

Tomlinson MG. (2011)
Analysis of the platelet and megakaryocyte transcriptomes using serial analysis of gene expression.
In Platelet Proteomics (Garcia A and Senis YA, eds), Wiley, pp. 209-230.

Haining EJ, Yang J and Tomlinson MG (2011).
Tetraspanin microdomains: fine-tuning platelet function.
Biochemical Society Transactions 39:518-523.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.