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PhD Studentship: Deciphering Molecular Crosstalk in the Musculoskeletal System: Vesicle-mediated Communication and its Impact on Bone Health
Start date of studentship: 01/07/2019 Closing date of advert: 22/04/19
Interview date: Late May
Primary supervisor: Dr Owen Davies
Secondary supervisor: Professor Mark Lewis
Short Introductory Paragraph
We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to work on an Academy of Medical Sciences funded PhD project that aims to understand how nano-vesicle-communication between muscle and bone impacts musculoskeletal health. It is anticipated that furthering our understanding of vesicle-based communication in the musculoskeletal system has the potential to inform the way we monitor and treat degenerative conditions such as osteoporosis (bone) and sarcopenia (muscle). The project features collaborations with international institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT, Boston) and the Myology Centre for Research (INSERM, Sorbonne University, Paris) and provides an opportunity for international placement.
Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
Find out more: www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research
The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences has been ranked 1st in the world for Sport-related Subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, 2018 and 2019).
Full Project Detail:
Within our bodies, bone and muscle development is inextricably linked, with mechanical forces generated in the musculature having considerable impact on bone health. The relationship between these tissues is not solely mechanical but is also dependent on the release of proteins and nano-sized particles called extracellular vesicles (EVs) that provide a method of communication. Physical activity has a considerable role in maintaining overall musculoskeletal health by enhancing bone density and recent evidence has shown it modulates the release of EVs into the circulation. However, our current understanding of the contribution of these important nanoparticles to skeletal health is limited. By understanding how EVs contribute to bone maintenance we aim to develop a molecular means of monitoring skeletal health.
Find out more:
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in molecular biology, biosciences or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: musculoskeletal biology, practical experience in extracellular vesicle (exosomes/microvesicles) isolation/analysis, tissue engineering.
The studentship is funded via an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard award. The studentship will be awarded for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £14,777 for the duration plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions the studentship is only open to UK/EU students.
Name: Dr Owen Davies
Email address: O.G.Davies@lboro.ac.uk
How to apply:
All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select “School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences”.
Please quote reference number: SSEHS/OD
Funded 3 year PhD position – The studentship covers home/EU tuition fees (£4,260 in 2018/19) plus a generous stipend equivalent to the full UK Research Innovation rate of £14,777. – Sheffield Hallam University
Extracellular Vesicles: small packages with a big role in bowel cancer metastasis
Background: Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) have poor survival rates, reflecting the difficulty in treating advanced disease. The events that lead to CRC metastases establishing are poorly understood; recently it has been proposed that extracellular vesicles (EVs) condition metastatic sites through organ-specific uptake. This project will determine the molecular processes driving metastasis and the role of EVs, aiming to develop new treatment approaches for advanced disease and to support monitoring and diagnosis of metastatic CRC.
Aims: 1) Develop a detailed understanding of CRC metastasis. 2) Develop an understanding of how/why CRC metastasises to particular sites. 3) Determine how EVs contribute to CRC metastasis.
Methods: Organotypic models of metastatic sites will be developed, which will be analysed histologically, biomechanically, and proteomically to develop signatures linked to metastatic progression. Models will also be conditioned using EVs from CRC cells, and the impact of this conditioning on invasion and metastatic signatures will be assessed. Micro-RNA profiles of EVs will be characterised and linked to their effects. These effects will then be validated in CRC tissues.
Outcomes: We will develop molecular signatures of metastatic progression in vitro, linked to histological and biomechanical features of tissue remodelling. Identifying key pathways linked to metastasis and important site-specific features will provide a basis for treatment approaches. We will use molecular manipulation to assess the putative role of a key mediators of invasion identified in this profiling, including the important enzyme TG2. We will then link EV miRNA profiles to their effects, identifying potential biomarkers of metastasis.
The project will benefit from extensive culture and 3D modelling facilities in the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre, and MALDI-imaging technology in the Centre for Mass Spectrometry Imaging at SHU. Dr Peake and Professor Le Maitre are established researchers with vast experience of developing in vitro models of disease and will provide full training. Dr Cole is an expert in MALDI imaging and complementary analytical techniques which will be used to develop molecular signatures in the model. The student will also benefit from working with established collaborators at the University of Sheffield and the University of Southampton, who will provide support for extracellular vesicle isolation and analysis, and clinical samples for translational impact.
Successful applicants will possess all of the attributes listed below.
• A first class or upper second class honours degree in cancer biology, molecular biology, cell biology, protein biology or a related discipline or a distinction at MSc. Experience working in a research laboratory for at least one year is desirable.
• Excellent communication skills in English (speaking and writing).
• Ability to work independently and within a team
• Highly motivated with a commitment to conduct high quality research
• Excellent time management skills
This PhD is primarily funded by Bowel & Cancer Research, with additional support from the SHU “creating knowledge” collaborative PhD scheme.
An application form can be downloaded at the following URL:
For informal enquiries about the project please contact Dr Nick Peake: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Deadline for applications 31st March, 2019
• Interviews will be held in April
• Studentship to begin in May, or in exceptional circumstances, October.
Postdoctoral Research Associate – Salary: £32,236.00 – £39,609.00 (Grade 7) – University of Cambridge
Limit of Tenure: From 1st January 2019 (or as soon as possible thereafter) for 24 months
Applications are invited for this postdoctoral position, as part of a project funded by the Petplan Charitable Trust, which will aim to identify novel biomarkers of bladder cancer (urothelial carcinoma) in dogs. Early diagnosis of bladder cancer in dogs is currently hampered by the late onset of symptoms and a lack of reliable non-invasive
diagnostic tests, therefore this project will investigate if miRNAs within urinary extracellular vesicles (EVs) can be used as non-invasive biomarkers for urothelial carcinoma in dogs.
The applicant will work alongside Dr Tim Williams and Professor Fiona Karet, both of which have a proven track record in EV research, and Dr Andrew Grant and Dr Lajos Kalmar, who have extensive experience in transcriptome analysis, including bioinformatics. The main focus of the research led by Dr Williams and Professor Karet, is to study the biology of EVs and investigate their utility as a source of biomarkers of renal and urinary tract diseases in humans and mammals.
Applicants should have a PhD, in Molecular Biology or a related discipline, and ideally have either experience in quantitative molecular biology and/or extracellular vesicle research. Expertise in bioinformatics is also desirable but not essential. The candidate must value teamwork and collaboration, have good administrative and interpersonal skills, and high computer literacy especially in relation to the analysis of DNA sequences and the use of bioinformatics software.
For further information see: http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/
The Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership
Also try: www.findapostdoc.com, or https://academicpositions.com in the EU.
Those of you interested in the USA should check out: https://www.exosome-rna.com/tag/postdoc/