We are currently advertising National Productivity Investment Fund Industrial CASE studentships with a deadline of the 16th July 2018.

02 / 10 / 2017

How cells communicate in the gut to fight infection (KORCSMAROS_E18DTP2)

how to apply

Upon infection, various cells are activated in the gut to overcome pathogens. One such cell type is called Paneth cell, which produces peptides that could kill or limit the growth of bacterial cells. Some pathogens, like Salmonella target specifically Paneth cells to increase the success of the infection. Previously it was found that after Salmonella infection, intestinal stem cells start producing more Paneth cells. However, how the infected Paneth cells “inform” the stem cells that they need reinforcement is not yet known.

This PhD project aims to identify pathways in Paneth cells and in stem cells essential for this cell-cell communication. Experimental approaches, using a novel mice model and performing single-cell transcriptomics will be combined with pathway analysis. The predictions of the computational work will be validated with molecular and cell biology techniques. The student will be co-supervised by Tamas Korcsmaros having extensive experience on signalling network studies and data integration, and Prof. Alastair Watson an internationally known expert of intestinal epithelial crypt research.

The PhD student will have opportunity to learn novel technologies, including single cell sequencing to grow and develop to be an independent and successful researcher, who enjoys working on scientific problems in a multidisciplinary environment. In the former group of the primary supervisor, several students have already been successfully trained to carry out computational works independently, indicating the availability of necessary training experience. The student will also receive project-related trainings at the UEA and QI to work with mice strains, utilize microbiology and molecular biology techniques, infection assays and fluorescence microscopy.