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Using zebrafish to model Facioscapulohumeral muscle dystrophy and screen for drugs to enhance muscle stem cell health


Project Description

Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is the 3rd most common muscle dystrophy leading to progressive muscle weakness of facial, shoulder and limb muscles and so impairing quality of life. This project aims to create an animal model to study how the FSHD disease protein, DUX4, affects muscle stem cells and immune cells during regeneration and screen for drugs that can overcome its affects.

A zebrafish FSHD model will be created using molecular genetics techniques and cell behaviour observed during muscle regeneration by laser microscopy to reveal why muscle atrophies as a consequence of DUX4 activity. This FSHD animal model will then be used to screen drugs approved for human use to identify those that are able to enhance muscle health and so could be of potential benefit to FSHD patients.

Research training
• Molecular genetics and molecular cloning
• Confocal and multiphoton microscopy
• Gene expression analysis and immunohistochemistry
• Techniques for manipulating gene function in a model organism

Funding Notes

Funding available: Stipend payable £17,009 p.a. set to MRC rate and bench fees covered

Sponsor: Muscular Dystrophy UK

Duration of award: 3 years

Mode of study: Full-time

Eligibility: Home/EU, overseas

Person specification:
• A dynamic and interested person with a passion for science and an interest in the subject of muscle/ regenerative biology
• An Honours class degree with experience of laboratory research, preferably in molecular genetics and imaging
• Possess good communication skills and happy to work with others
• Willing to learn and explore new methods

How good is research at King’s College London in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?
Dentistry

FTE Category A staff submitted: 52.95

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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