PhD Research Project: The role of extra-cellular matrix remodelling in muscle-specific stem cell ac
Satellite cells are adult skeletal muscle-specific stem cells responsible for post-natal muscle growth and for muscle repair upon injury or disease such as dystrophies. Satellite cells are normally quiescent. However, upon activation, satellite cells exit quiescence, begin proliferating and initiate a myogenic program that culminates with the fusion to the injured muscle fibre and its repair. An important aspect of the repair program is the ability of satellite cells to self-renew, a process that ensures the maintenance of a stem cell pool throughout life allowing the repair of future injuries. Defects in satellite cell self-renewal underlie conditions such as muscular dystrophies and sarcopenia. It is believed that the control of satellite cell quiescence, proliferation, differentiation and self-renewal is mediated through extrinsic signals produced by the satellite cell niche. We have previously shown that one such signal is delivered by the basal lamina associated with satellite cells, and is required for satellite cell self-renewal. This project aims at investigating further the mechanism of basal lamina control of satellite cell self-renewal. In particular, the project will address the relationship between the satellite cell basal lamina, cell polarity and asymmetric cell division, a process known to underlie self-renewal. The project will use a well-established ex-vivo culture system of skeletal muscle fibres, imaging and molecular biology approaches, combined with mouse genetics to gain a molecular and cellular understanding of satellite cell self-renewal.
Applications from self-funded students or students with secured funding are also welcome.
First class or upper second 2(i) in a relevant subject. To formally apply for a PhD Studentship, you must complete the University's application form using the following link: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/bms/prospective_pg/how_to_apply
*All applicants should ensure that both references are uploaded onto their application as a decision will be unable to be made without this information*.
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