Shining a bright light on skin pigmentation: the role of LC3-associated phagocytosis in melanosome uptake (MORRIS_U22DTP)
The epidermis serves several key functions in maintaining human health. The production of the skin pigment, melanin, is triggered in response to UV light and serves to protect the skin from UV-induced DNA damage that causes premature ageing and predisposes to skin cancer. Autophagy (which means "self-eating") is an essential cellular process that involves the degradation and recycling of damaged or defective proteins or organelles in times of relative starvation (1). In the context of skin health, the maturation and trafficking of melanin-containing vesicles (melanosomes) in the melanocyte is known to be dependent upon the expression of a key autophagy protein, UVRAG (2). This project will address a key question in the pigment cell research field i.e. how are melanosomes internalised and trafficked in skin keratinocytes?
We are looking for an ambitious, committed and highly motivated individual to examine the role of autophagy pathways in the skin using genetic mouse models (3). In the project, you will be trained in a range of molecular/cell biological approaches including primary cell isolation, qPCR, Western Blotting, immunohistochemistry, live-cell confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and proteomics.
You will join a collaborative team of researchers in the Morris and Wileman groups that are addressing broader questions about skin homeostasis and the role of autophagy in human health and disease. The project will involve studies at UEA and the Quadrum Institute.
The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to the UK and international candidates for entry in October 2022 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship placement (PIPS) during their study. The placement offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.
This project has been shortlisted for funding by the NRPDTP programme. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Tuesday 25th January, Wednesday 26th January and Thursday 27th January 2022.
You can visit the Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership for further information on eligibility and the application process.
Our partners value diverse and inclusive work environments that are positive and supportive. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.