Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  Uncovering the mechanisms of cryoprotectant toxicity and improving cryopreservation protocols


   Institute of Inflammation and Ageing

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

Click here to search FindAPhD.com for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof Joao Pedro Magalhaes  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Cryopreservation is the process of placing cells, organs or even whole organisms at low temperatures so that they remain in a state of suspended animation and function is preserved. Cryobiology is a crucial area of research for modern biotechnology due to the importance of biobanking, from developing reliable stem cell storage systems, organ banking for transplants as well as storage for engineered tissues. At present, cryopreservation technology is only successful for cell lines and very small tissues. More research is required before whole organs can successfully be cryopreserved while retaining their biological integrity. Given the importance of organ transplants and the growing field of tissue engineering, perfecting cryopreservation methods would have a profound impact on medicine.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious student to study cryopreservation and cryoprotectant toxicity in the lab of Prof Joao Pedro de Magalhaes:

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/inflammation-ageing/magalhaes-pedro.aspx

The constraints placed by delicate biological structures set many challenges for the science of cryopreservation. The chemicals which block ice formation and remove intracellular water (called cryoprotectants) are also toxic, to varying degrees. The complexity of this toxicity effect has been the biggest barrier to clinical application of vitrification in human tissues and organs. To unravel this complex sequence of interactions, we are using many techniques combined with genomic methods to study the mechanisms of cryoprotectant toxicity in human cells. Our goal is to identify genes and other mechanisms at work in cryoprotectant toxicity; this will give us direct targets for drug discovery. The exact direction of this project, however, will be adapted to fit the research interests of the student. Ultimately we aim to improve cryopreservation protocols to make long-term storage of stem cells, engineered tissues and organs more efficient.

Applicants should have a first or upper second-class degree in a relevant scientific discipline, and who are self-funded or have typically applied for, or secured funding for their studies from their government, employer or associated charitable organisations.

APPLICATION ROUTES

Self-funded or scholarship-funded graduates interested in our lab can select one of two different routes for undertaking a PhD.

Applicants with research experience and/or Master’s degree should apply directly to the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing for either a 3 or 4 year full-time PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/med/inflammation-ageing.aspx

This route requires applicants to submit a drafted research proposal.

Applicants seeking additional research experience or who have yet to complete a Master’s degree should apply to the 4 year Integrated Doctoral Training Programme in Life Sciences for Health, which combined a MRes and PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgr/idtp/index.aspx

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

Applicants are invited from self-funded or scholarship-funded graduates only.
Applicants will be self-funded or will have typically applied for, or secured funding for their studies from their government, employer or associated charitable organisations.
Overseas graduates require IELTs of 6.5 overall.
Applying directly to the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing for either a 3 or 4 year full-time PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/research/med/inflammation-ageing.aspx
Applying to the 4 year Integrated Doctoral Training Programme in Life Sciences for Health, which combined a MRes and PhD – https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgr/idtp/index.aspx

References

Bojic S, Murray A, Bentley B, Spindler R, Pawlik P, Cordeiro JL, Bauer R, de Magalhães JP (2021) “Winter is coming: the future of cryopreservation.” BMC Biology 19:56.
Giwa S et al. (2017) “The promise of organ and tissue preservation to transform medicine.” Nat Biotechnol 35:530-542.
Cordeiro RM, Stirling S, Fahy GM, de Magalhães JP (2015) "Insights on cryoprotectant toxicity from gene expression profiling of endothelial cells exposed to ethylene glycol." Cryobiology 71:405-412.

Where will I study?

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.