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(WIS) Cross-talk between T cells and intestinal epithelial cells: a new type of immune synapse.


Project Description

Super-resolution and other state-of-the-art microscope techniques allow us to study immune cell activity in unprecedented detail. Recently, Davis’s research team has used these microscopes to study the changing arrangements of molecules on the surface of immune cells as they survey other cells for signs of disease. Working with other state-of-the-art technologies, including single cell profiling, Biton’s lab has recently made an exciting discovery: that immune cells in the gut directly engage with epithelial cells. In all likelihood, this interaction is vital in health and disease, but precisely how is not yet known. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which these cells interact will seed new ideas for how the immune system works in the gut. Here, we will study how long these cells are in contact for, what happens to at the contact point, which signals are triggered and then what are the downstream consequences of this interaction. We will also study how the interaction between these cells changes in situations where an infection or auto-immune disease is apparent. As well as understanding regulation of the gut in general, these data can help establish what happens in disease settings of a gut infection or inflammatory bowel disease.

This project will involve a first year in the University of Manchester, UK, two years spent in the Weizmann Institute in Israel, and then a final year back in Manchester. This project is highly multi-disciplinary – involving state-of-the-art and novel microscopy, cell biology, single cell analysis and in vitro models of organs. This is certain to be an enriching student experience, not to mention the opportunity to experience scientific life in different institutes and countries.

Entry Requirements:
Applications should be submitted online and candidates should make direct contact with the Manchester supervisor to discuss their application directly. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Funding Notes

This project is to be funded under The University of Manchester and Weizmann Institute of Science Studentship. Funding covers fees (UK/EU rate) and stipend for four years. Candidates will be required to split their time between Manchester and Israel, as outlined on View Website

As an equal opportunities institution, we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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