Aarhus University Fully-Funded International PhD Position in SMC-derived Cells
- Fully financed PhD
- 15 March 2021
Project descriptionAtherosclerosis causes heart attack and stroke and is a leading health problem in most parts of the world. Research into the mechanisms that drive atherosclerotic le-sion development are needed to develop more effective therapies to stop disease progression.
The host research group has recently found that atherosclerotic lesions in experi-mental mouse models grow by clonal expansion of a few pre-existing SMCs. During the clonal growth, these founder cells modulate into other cellular phenotypes (SMC-derived plaque cells). It remains unknow whether similar clonal growth is part of atherosclerosis in experimental models that more closely resemble human ather-osclerosis. In the offered project, the PhD candidate will analyze the development of SMC-derived plaque cells and their clonal structure in gene modified minipigs with atherosclerosis using state-of-the art single cell expression profiling, an X-chromo-some transgenic tag, and RNAscope in situ hybridization.
The aims of the project are the following:
1\. Define major SMC-derived cell subsets in porcine atherosclerosis based on single cell expression data and quantify their appearance and abundance during plaque evolution.
2\. Validate a new technique for the analysis of clonal structure of cell populations in pigs using a transgenic X chromosome tag.
3\. Analyze the clonal structure of SMC-derived and other cell types in porcine ather-osclerosis by X chromosome inactivation pattern analysis.
To meet these aims, the candidate will develop skills in immune fluorescence, in situ hybridization, fluorescence microscopy, and advanced imaging analysis. Limited experiments with gene modified minipigs in collaboration with experienced group members are also planned.
The PhD project is funded by the European Research Council (866240, EXPLOSIA) and is carried out in the research group of professor Jacob Bentzon with assistant professor Julián Albarrán Juárez serving as co-supervisor.
The candidate will be-come part of a supportive, English-speaking environment for research training, and will also have the opportunity to work at the group’s lab facilities at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) in Madrid, Spain.
For more information about the research group, please visit www.bentzonlab.org
Recent medical degree (MD) or master degree (MSc) in a biological discipline. High academic level documented by university transcripts Good command of written and spoken English Practical experience with standard biomedical lab work.
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Fully financed PhD.
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