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Dental Institute

Exploring epigenetic control of hair cell regeneration in the ear

*This studentship is now closed*

Research Division:
Dental Institute

First supervisor: Professor Andrea Streit
Second supervisor: Professor Michael Lovett
Sponsor: Action on Hearing Loss
Duration: 3 years, extendable to 4 years
Study mode: Full time
Eligibility: Home/EU applicants only
Stipend: £17,000  
Start date: 1 October 2015
Application closing date: Open until a suitable candidate is found
Reference: 15/DI/S04
Keywords: ear, regeneration, stem cells, epigenetics, deafness

Project description

Childhood deafness is among the most common birth defects, while age-related hearing loss affects more that 50% of people over 70. Many forms of deafness are associated with loss of hair cells, the sensory cells responsible for transforming sound information into electrical signals, which are then relayed to the brain. In mammals, including humans, once damaged hair cells cannot regenerate, except for a short period after birth from so-called supporting cells. This projects explores why supporting cells lose their regenerative potential over time. In particular, we will explore the epigenetic changes during this process, and how we can use this knowledge to design new strategies to promote hair cell regeneration. The student will be trained in modern molecular approaches like RNA-seq, ChIP-seq and data analysis as well as animal model systems to study hair cell regeneration. In addition to project specific training, lecture-based and problem solving courses are available, as well as many other training opportunities. The student will benefit from two supervisors with complementary expertise in ear formation and systems biology respectively. S/he will join an international team of researchers, have the opportunity to collaborate with different research groups and to present data international conferences. The successful candidate is enthusiastic about science, interested in regenerative and developmental biology, has a good understanding of molecular biology and a keen interest in bioinformatics, and enjoys working in a team.

Eligibility
This studentship is open to Home/EU candidates only.  
Funding

Funding is available for three years at a stipend rate of £17,000. The project is extendable into a fourth year.

Application details

Applicants should send a CV and outline of research interests to Professor Andrea Streit.

Contact for enquiries

Informal questions can be directed to Andrea Streit at andrea.streit@kcl.ac.uk.

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