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Kennedy Trust Prize Studentships

The Project

The thymic microenvironment harbours a hierarchical system of lymphoid/T cell progenitors and supports T cell development which is crucial forgeneration of adaptive immune diversity. Recent studies hint towards the involvement of blood vessels during T cell development but little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms. Our preliminary data indicates that niche microenvironments in thymus may regulate thymic function. Here, this project aims to gain mechanistic insights into the role of vascular niche microenvironments in regulating T cell development. This project will employ a powerful combination of new cutting edge techniques such as advanced confocal and multiphoton imaging, single cell sequencing, proteomics, bioinformatics and novel cell specific-inducible mouse genetics in an unprecedented manner to interrogate the role of vascular niches during T cell development. This interdisciplinary project will integrate immunology, vascular, developmental and stem cell biology to provide insights into the novel function/s of the vasculature and may provide a strategy to boost immune response by manipulation of vasculature.

Training and Career Opportunities

Student will be based at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, which is a world-renowned research centre, housing basic and clinician scientists working on diverse aspects of immunology and inflammation. In addition to variety of cell and molecular biology techniques, student will be trained to utilize multiple cutting-edge technologies to tackle this interdisciplinary project at the frontiers of immunology, vascular, developmental and stem cell biology. In addition to the lab and departmental meetings, seminar programme and journal clubs, student will attend national and international scientific conferences where he/she will be expected to present the research findings. Student will also have the opportunity to attend career seminars and workshops and will receive training on soft skills such as giving presentations and time management. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Anjali Kusumbe and Professor Michael Dustin via email.

PUBLICATIONS

  • Kusumbe AP, Ramasamy SK, Adams RH (2014) Coupling of angiogenesis and osteogenesis by a specific vessel subtype in bone. Nature 507: 323-328.
  • Choudhuri K, Llodrá J, Roth EW, Tsai J, Gordo S, Wucherpfennig KW, Kam LC, Stokes DL, Dustin ML (2014) Polarized release of T-cell-receptor-enriched microvesicles at the immunological synapse. Nature 6;507(7490):118-23. 
  • Ramasamy SK, Kusumbe AP, Wang L, Adams RH (2014) Endothelial Notch activity promotes angiogenesis and osteogenesis in bone. Nature 507: 376-380.
  • Kusumbe AP, Ramasamy SK, Itkin T, Mae M, Langen U, Betsholtz C, Lapidot T, Adams RH (2016) Age-dependent modulation of vascular niches for haematopoetic stem cells. Nature 532: 380-384

How to apply 

The department accepts applications throughout the year but it is recommended that, in the first instance, you contact the relevant supervisor(s) or the Directors of Graduate Studies who will be able to advise you of the essential requirements.

Interested applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class BSc degree or equivalent, and will also need to provide evidence of English language competence. The University requires candidates to formally apply online and for their referees to submit online references via the online application system.

The application guide and form is found online and the DPhil or MSc by research will commence in October 2019.

When completing the online application, please read the University Guide.

 

Project reference number #201917

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