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How does cell polarity control immune cell development and leukemia?

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Russell
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Cancer can arise when the balance between differentiation and proliferation is disturbed, and understanding how this balance is normally maintained is essential to combat cancer. In epithelial tumours it is now clear that disruptions in asymmetric cell division (the differential distribution of molecular cell fate determinants into the two daughters of a dividing cell) can lead to cancer by altering this balance. We have recently found that developing T cells also undergo asymmetric cell division (Pham et al, J. Cell. Biol. in press), and that asymmetric cell division is altered in mice that are predisposed to leukemia.

A PhD project is available to determine how alterations in asymmetric cell division impact upon cell fate decisions such as self-renewal, proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation, and how this predisposes to leukemia. You will use state of the art time lapse imaging approaches at PeterMac and at the Centre for MicroPhotonics, Swinburne http://www.swinburne.edu.au/engineering/cmp/index.php?s=0, multicolour flow cytometry, cell culture and molecular biology techniques, mice that are genetically modified to alter asymmetric cell division, and tumour models to address these questions.. An Honours and a PhD project are available to determine how alterations in asymmetric cell division impact upon cell fate decisions such as self-renewal, proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation, and how this predisposes to cancer.

You will use state of the art time lapse imaging approaches, multicolour flow cytometry, cell culture and molecular biology techniques, mice that are genetically modified to alter asymmetric cell division, and tumour models to address these questions


Research interests:
Researchers in the Russell Laboratory study the means by which the shape of immune cells controls their response to their environment. The team has uncovered fascinating new ways in which cell shape dictates immune function and cancer.

Funding Notes

All PhD students at Peter Mac must have a scholarship from The University of Melbourne or through another government, trust or philanthropic organisation. Before applying for a scholarship, you must have agreed on a project with an institute supervisor.
For further information regarding scholarships (both local and international), see http://research.mdhs.unimelb.edu.au/scholarships
Closing dates for applications for scholarships to commence in 2016: Round 1 -31 October 2015; Round 2 - 18 Dec 2015

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