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Understating the mechanisms connecting platelets to muscle stem cell function and skeletal muscle regeneration

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Matsakas
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering this project supported by a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary. It is one of a cluster of projects available as part of a significant investment into new and emerging areas of platelet research at Hull York Medical School's Hull campus.

Closing date: - 29th February 2016.
Studentships will start on 26th September 2016
Supervisor: Dr Antonios Matsakas(contact [Email Address Removed]) with Professor Khalid Naseem and Dr Roger Sturmey

Platelets affect regeneration in several tissues including liver, bone and connective tissue. Recent evidence suggests that platelet-derived molecules (PDM) promote skeletal muscle regeneration after injury. However these platelet-driven effects, although exciting at the preclinical level, have faced challenges in clinical applications and their effectiveness remains controversial. Therefore there is a need to better understand the molecular interactions between platelet signalling and myofibre repair capacity.

Skeletal muscle stem cells, called satellite cells, play a major role in muscle repair in response to injury. They become activated by growth factors and are considered the key rate-limiting step for successful repair. This project will test the hypothesis that platelets promote skeletal muscle regeneration by means of their secreted molecules. Key growth factors secreted by platelets include vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and fibroblast growth factor (Fgf), and all are known to regulate myogenesis in several experimental settings. In order to pinpoint key molecular events, we will examine the cross-talk between platelet signalling and skeletal muscle stem cells in the context of muscle fibre regeneration. We will establish the effect of different platelet-derived molecules in myofibre regeneration at the cellular level and we will also determine whether platelet enrichment is beneficial for muscle regeneration after injury in vivo.

The project will involve use of a wide spectrum of experimental tools including basic cell and bio-molecular techniques such as cell culture systems, fluorescence microscopy, protein biochemistry, histology and gene expression. The project has implications for regenerative medicine and there will be scope to translate biochemical findings to in vivo patho-physiological conditions of muscle damage using genetically modified mice, pharmacological approaches to modulate platelets, and delivery of PDM to injured muscle. The student will join an interactive research environment with expertise in platelet biology and skeletal muscle molecular physiology and will use modern approaches for dissecting the molecular mechanisms that modulate muscle stem cell function by platelets.

To apply for this post please click on the Apply button below.

In order to qualify for this scholarship you will require an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.1, or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,057 in 2015/16) for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International PhD Fee Bursaries will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.
PhD students at Hull York Medical School follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award as soon as possible and by 30th April 2016 at the latest.

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