PhD studentship available full time or part-time
Project title: Gene therapy using a modified Netrin-1 gene to enhance peripheral nerve
Reference number: 17-18-015R2
1 January 2019
Director of studies:
Dr Xin-peng Dun
2nd supervisor: Professor David Parkinson
Dr Xinzhong Li
The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry are seeking to appoint PhD candidates of outstanding ability to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally rated research.
The Faculty is committed to research excellence with a recent £25 million investment in staff and facilities. Medical research here was ranked first for outputs in REF2014.
Our lab is interested in regenerative biology and how the peripheral nervous system may repair itself following injury; our aim is to boost the repair of such injuries in human patients to provide a better clinical outcome. In this PhD, we will use molecular biology techniques to create expression vectors carrying engineered Netrin-1, an axon guidance molecule.
The binding properties of the mutated Netrin-1 protein on Netrin-1 attractive and repulsive receptors will be verified by co-immunoprecipitation and western blot.
Validated vectors will be used to produce adeno-associated virus for Schwann cell infection and in vivo delivery in a rat sciatic nerve injury model. Functional recovery will then be studied to measure the effect of the modified Netrin-1 protein on peripheral nerve repair.
The successful candidate will also have chance to use Netrin-1 and DCC conditional knockout mouse models and study how Schwann cell derived Netrin-1 promotes peripheral nerve regeneration. For further information regarding the project, please see (International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2017, 18(3), 491) or contact Dr Xin-peng Dun.
Candidates will be shortlisted against the following
- Applications with a first degree at 2:1 level or above
- First degree or master’s degree in life science or biochemistry
- International applicants must also have an IELTS score of 7.0 or above (with no less than 6.5 in any element)
- Experience in using molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry techniques.