It takes guts to regenerate your liver (BERAZA_Q19DTP)
- Research Area Bioscience for Health
- Partner The Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB)
Dr Naiara Beraza -
- Application Deadline 26/11/2018
The liver is a self-renewing organ that maintains its physiological activity during homeostasis via a fascinating and highly complex process named liver regeneration. This process also allows the liver to fully restore its mass and function after being challenged (with drugs/toxins) or surgically resected within 10 days in rodents and 6-8 weeks in humans.
The liver is the main metabolic organ of the body where the synthesis of essential metabolites occurs, feeding the whole body with glucose, lipids, proteins and bile acids. The liver cannot do this alone and needs the intestine to extract nutrients from the food we eat, providing the liver with the building blocks needed for its metabolic activity. Unfortunately, our body faces constant challenges, some involving the loss of function of the liver that needs to regenerate in unfavourable conditions.
To gain a better understanding of how the liver regenerates will enable us to propose strategies to preserve and improve liver metabolic function and overall whole-body health.
The aim of this project is to define the mechanisms underpinning liver regeneration and more specifically, to determine the role of specific intestinal metabolic regulators in this process.
To do this, the PhD student will learn in vivo techniques including animal handling and complex surgical procedures, as well as isolation of primary cells for in vitro studies. The student will receive training in cellular biology methodologies including, analysis of nucleic acids by qPCR and proteins by western blot, ELISA and immunohistochemistry. The student will also learn to characterise the immune response by FACS.
This training will provide the student a series of valuable transferable skills essential for the progression of her/his scientific career.
The project will be carried out at the Quadram institute, a brand-new building co-housing research laboratories with clinical facilities, combining basic with biomedical research.