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Intracellular processing of calcium phosphate nanoparticles in health and in Crohn’s Disease

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

Project Description

Department of Life Health and Chemical Sciences, Faculty of Science
Based in Milton Keynes
Three years from April 2016
Stipend: £14,057 per year and tuition fee covered (2015 rate)

Ref: 9275

A motivated research student is sought to undertake a project examining the role of calcium phosphate nanoparticles in human pathologies such as Crohn’s disease. Calcium and phosphate ions in the mid-distal small bowel are known to precipitate, form nanoparticles, and trap luminal macromolecules such as protein antigens and bacterial peptidoglycans. The calcium phosphate nanoparticles and their protein cargoes pass across the gut epithelium and are scavenged by phagocytic cells that regulate immune responses (Powell et al., Nature Nanotechnology; 2015).

This studentship seeks to address the questions of (a) how the calcium phosphate nanoparticles are normally handled by the phagocytic cells within specialised gut regions, and (b) whether there is abnormal response to these particles in cells from patients with Crohn’s Disease. The studentship has a multi-disciplinary approach, and draws on our long-standing expertise in characterising cellular signalling.

The studentship underpins a collaborative venture between researchers at The Open University (Milton Keynes) and the MRC Human Nutrition Unit (Cambridge). Techniques will include fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy and a variety of protein-biochemical and molecular biological approaches.

You will be largely working on human cells, and will be required to occasionally travel to/from Cambridge/OU to isolate cells and perform experiments.

A first degree, or equivalent, in Biochemistry or a related subject and good numeracy/ICT skills.

Informal enquiries relating to the project should be directed to [email protected] or [email protected]

How to apply
To apply, please send an email/letter together with your CV, a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date) and a completed application form to the [email protected]

Please quote reference.

Closing Date: 8 February 2016
Interviews: TBA

Equal Opportunity is University Policy.

Funding Notes

This three-year research studentship is partly externally funded and partly funded by the Faculty of Science at The Open University and provide a maintenance grant of £14, 057 per year (2015 rate) - all academic fees (at UK/EU level) are covered

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