Cardiff School of Dentistry PhD Studentship: Elucidating novel roles for extracellular matrix proteins in directing stem cell biology (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R827
Key Studentship Information
Project Title: Elucidating novel roles for extracellular matrix proteins in directing stem cell biology
Project Description: The School of Dentistry invites applications for one School sponsored PhD Studentship, available from October 2012.
Understanding the factors regulating stem cell proliferation and differentiation of injured tissue are basic biological concerns for their successful clinical application in bone and dentine tissue engineering. Whilst growth factors are recognised to provide a prime regulatory role, other extracellular proteins are now becoming recognised as important in modulating cell signalling and providing roles in directing angiogenesis, bone and dentine formation. The aim of this studentship project is to identify and characterise the biological activity of novel extracellular matrix components which may function to aid growth factor signalling of progenitor cells in mineralised tissue repair. The project will involve the fractionation and biochemical characterisation of a range of proteins previously considered as structural components of mineralised tissues. Emphasis of the project will be placed on examining the influence of these components on the behaviour and cell signalling events of mesenchymal stem cells and furthering our understanding of the vital cell signalling roles of the matrix components. The outcomes will support clinical development of novel materials, with a defined protein composition, which enhance bone and dentine repair. The successful applicant will join a team of researchers based in the School of Dentistry with a research focus of elucidating the role of mesenchymal stem cells in the formation of mineralised tissues and how the extracellular environment can be harnessed to enhance tissue engineering approaches through better mimicking of the natural repair processes.
About the School of Dentistry: The primary research objective of the School is to produce internationally competitive research of the highest standards and relevance to dentistry. The School of Dentistry, Cardiff University provides a thorough training programme for all its postgraduate students to support their research career development. The School boasts excellent wet laboratory facilities, including large modernised tissue culture suites, light and fluorescent microscopy facilities (with digital image acquisition), automated time-lapse microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, image analysis resources, protein purification and molecular biology facilities (real-time PCR, radiolabelled in situ hybridisation, DNA sequencing). Interdisciplinary research is a major part of the School’s strategy, which is strengthened through collaborations with complementary research disciplines at local, national and international levels.
Please see the School of Dentistry website for further details.
Supervisors: Professor Rachel Waddington and Dr Alastair Sloan
Number of Awards: 1
Successful applicants will receive Full UK/EU tuition fees plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,5 90 p.a. for 2010/11, updated each year).
Academic Criteria: Applicants should have 2:1 or 1st Class Honours Degree (or demonstrate excellence during previous degrees) in Biological or Biomedical Science subject area. Favourable consideration will be given to applicants with (or expect to obtain) a relevant Masters degree and /or those applicants able to demonstrate some research experience.
Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals, and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees-only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.
How to Apply
No separate application is necessary, consideration is automatic upon applying for postgraduate study. Applications for the PhD programme can be made using Cardiff's online applications service. Please indicate that you would like to be considered for this studentship in the funding section of the application form.
Application Deadline: 11th May 2012