Heart research machine

Key information

Application deadline:
Wednesday 13 September

Professor Julia Gorelik
Professor Sian Harding
Dr Chris Dunsby

3 year PhD studentship starting in October 2017 at the BHF Centre of Regenerative Medicine at Imperial College London

Applications are invited for a BHF Centre of Regenerative Medicine – National Heart and Lung Institute 3 year PhD studentship starting in October 2017 at the BHF Centre of Regenerative Medicine at Imperial College London. The studentship will cover tuition fees (at the Home/EU rate) and a tax-free stipend starting from £18,000 per annum for a total of 3 years.

The BHF Centre has internal partners from Imperial’s NHLI and Materials Departments, as well as the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre. Our main external partner is the Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering & Modelling at University of Nottingham. We also have expert partners at the Universities of Hamburg, Glasgow, Westminster and Oxford. Our expertise complements the other two BHF Centres at Oxford/Cambridge and Edinburgh.

Imperial College London provides excellent opportunities for research student training. All students benefit from a full programme of training in research and transferable skills organised through the Graduate School, the quality of which has been recognised several times at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

Project summary

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) may be produced by reprogramming of somatic cells, and from there we differentiate them to beating cardiac muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). IPSC-derived cardiomyocytes are an important new source for regeneration of failing hearts, because they are human genotype-specific, have authentic cardiomyocyte features and can be formed into a graft that can be transplanted into damaged area of the heart. The recent projects in Professor Julia Gorelik's laboratory have confirmed that iPSC-CM cAMP/cGMP signalling differs from adult cardiomyocytes. In order to mature these cells to make them more adult-like we use an innovative technology which allows changing the mechanical environment of cells on patterned substrates. The cells become elongated and, in some respects, become more mature. The student will manipulate conditions of cultivation, such as patterns, substrate stiffness (as assessed with Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy), in order to mature the cells even more. He/she will assess the balance and quality of cGMP and cAMP simultaneously using FRET cAMP and cGMP reporters. In order to study kinetics of cAMP and cGMP signalling simultaneously we developed novel FRET sensors. The student will investigate the role of different feedback mechanisms such as phosphodiesterases in the mutual control of cyclic nucleotide signalling. At the end of the project iPSC lines will be produced bearing FRET sensors, which will be assessed in grafting experiments.

How to Apply

  • Applicants with a biological background must hold, or expect to obtain, a merit or distinction or equivalent in an appropriate MSc or MRes subject from a recognised academic institution.
  • Candidates must fulfill College admissions criteria and meet BHF residency requirements - details of College entry requirements.
  • Applicants with a background in biophysics with skills of computer programing and Matlab preferred. Training in cell biology will be provided.

To apply, please email Jinata Subba with the following documents.

- your CV
- the names and addresses of at least two academic referees
- a personal statement of no more than 1,000 words explaining your interest in the project

Please assume that your application has not been successful if you have not heard from uswithin a month of the closing date.

Application deadline: Wednesday 13 September 2017.

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