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PhD Projects

Regeneration of sensory cells in the ear: an epigenetic approach

Project details

1st supervisor: Professor Andrea Streit
Sponsor: Action on Hearing Loss
Duration of award: Four years
Funding available: Fully funded
Eligibility: Home/EU
Start date: 1 October 2017
Application deadline: 28 February 2017
Reference number: 2017/DI/01

Project description

In the ear, sensory hair cells are responsible for sound perception. Once destroyed they cannot regenerate and this leads to permanent hearing defects. In mice, supporting cells that surround hair cells can regenerate them for a very brief period after birth, however this ability is lost rapidly. This project addresses the question of why supporting cells become locked in a 'non-regenerative' state and explores the molecular mechanisms responsible. Particular focus will be on epigenetic changes since these, unlike changes in the DNA, are reversible and therefore good drug targets in the future. The student will investigate the changes in gene expression and in epigenetic modifications as supporting cells lose their regenerative potential using molecular techniques like RNA and ChIPseq combined with bioinformatics. S/he will then design assays to probe the function of specific genes during regeneration.

The Streit group is an international team looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with strong interest in developmental biology, regeneration and/or molecular biology.  The student will be trained in all aspects of the project, and have the opportunity to present their work at scientific meetings. S/he will be embedded in the divisional PhD programme, which provides training in craniofacial biology and stem cells, experimental design and critical analysis, and will benefit from other training opportunities at King’s College London.

To view entry requirements and further course information, see the Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD

Next steps

How to apply

Please apply online at following these steps:

  1. Register a new account/login
  2. Open a new application
  3. Under Choose a programme:
    1. Programme type: Research programme
    2. Faculty name: Dental Institute
    3. Award type: Research degree
    4. Select ‘Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time)
    5. Select September 2017 as the start date (for 1 October 2017 start)
Please note: Applicants must include the project reference number in the 'Research proposal' and 'Funding (point 5)' sections of their application.
Contact for further information

Professor Andrea Streit (

Related division Craniofacial Development and Stem Cell Biology.

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