Skeletal muscle is capable of spontaneous repair in response to injury. The regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle is due to a resident population of muscle stem cells called satellite cells. These cells are activated upon muscle damage, proliferate and differentiate, in order to replace the damaged muscle. Growth factors or signalling molecules are known to activate skeletal muscle satellite cells (e.g. vascular endothelial growth factor a, platelet-derived growth factor, insulin growth factor 1). However, while satellite cells are essential for successful regeneration of skeletal muscle, the molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear. The identification of key molecules which regulate satellite cell activation would open up the possibility of accelerating muscle repair.
Estrogen-related receptors (ERR isoforms α, β and γ), a sub-family of orphan nuclear hormone receptors, are regulators of cellular and mitochondrial metabolism. Skeletal muscle-specific overexpression of ERRγ can drive metabolic and angiogenic muscle reprogramming in both health and disease. This project will test the hypothesis that ERRγ drives skeletal muscle regenerative capacity via satellite cell recruitment and secretion of growth factors. Identification of underlying molecular mechanisms of satellite cell function could be exploited to develop new therapeutic strategies for promoting myofibre regeneration after injury or in degenerative conditions like ageing and muscle wasting disorders.
The project will involve a wide spectrum of basic cell and bio-molecular techniques including gene expression, fluorescence/confocal microscopy, histology, protein biochemistry, immunoblotting, immunoprecipitation, cell culture systems and muscle function. In addition, there will be scope within the project to translate biochemical findings with implications for skeletal muscle regeneration to patho-physiological conditions in vivo. Highly motivated students holding a degree in any biomedical discipline, with previous experience in some of the above techniques and a strong interest in skeletal muscle molecular biology are encouraged to apply. The student will join a dynamic research team of PhD students and a research technician with expertise in skeletal muscle molecular physiology. Our group utilises multidisciplinary approaches for identifying molecular mechanisms regulating muscle metabolic remodelling with the aim of preventing or treating muscle damage or wasting. For informal inquiries, please contact Dr. A. Matsakas (email@example.com).
Location and Research Culture
The student will join a dynamic research team of PhD students and a research technician with expertise in skeletal muscle molecular physiology. Our group utilises multidisciplinary approaches for identifying molecular mechanisms regulating muscle metabolic remodelling with the aim of preventing or treating muscle damage or wasting.
Dr Antonios Matsakas with Professor Khalid Naseem (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,057 in 2015/16) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.
Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.
In order to qualify for this scholarship you will require an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.1, or equivalent, in a relevant subject.
How to Apply
All applications MUST BE submitted to the HYMS Postgraduate Centre via the online application method: http://www.hyms.ac.uk/postgraduate/how-to-apply/applying-for-postgraduate-study
The deadline for applications is the 30th October 2015.
Please quote HYMS-2015-6 with the scholarship title when applying. In order for the Panel to get a sense of your academic background, commitment and interest, you are required to complete the application form in full and provide a research proposal/outline of academic interest. Research proposals and personal statements may be used in selecting applicants for interview. If you have any queries on how to apply please email email@example.com.
Please note that this is a student scholarship. If you will be employed by HYMS (e.g. on a fixed or short term contract) for the duration of your study, you will not be eligible to receive the student scholarship as a member of HYMS staff. You should contact Elaine Brookes in Postgraduate Admissions if you still wish to apply to discuss different options.
Applicants who are shortlisted for interview will be sent details of the date, time and venue via email within a week of the deadline. If you are not invited for the interview, it means that your application has not been successful. Please note that we do not offer feedback to applicants who are not invited to the interview.
As soon as reasonably practicable after the interviews have taken place HYMS will write to the successful applicant offering him/her the post. Upon receipt of formal written acceptance of the post we will write to notify unsuccessful candidates. Whilst we try to do this in as effective and efficient manner as possible, sometimes the process can take rather longer than is ideal because of the need to recall candidates for a second interview and reconvene interview panels and/or due to routine disruptions caused by leave and other absences. We apologise for any delay and inconvenience caused in these circumstances.