Study level

  • Vacation research experience scheme


Topic status

In progress.


Dr Daniel Wallace
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


Metals such as iron and copper are essential for life. Low or high amounts in the body can be damaging and hence levels are tightly regulated through various molecular pathways. Defects in these pathways can lead to genetic disorders such as haemochromatosis (iron overload), Wilson's disease (copper overload) or anaemia (iron deficiency).

Increased understanding of the pathways regulating iron or copper homeostasis will be useful for the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for treating these disorders. This project will use cell and molecular techniques in human cell lines to investigate in more detail the molecular pathways regulating iron and/or copper homeostasis.

The project will involve the culture and transfection of human cell lines and the possibility of various molecular biology techniques including nucleic acid isolation, real-time PCR, DNA cloning, CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing and flow cytometry. Bioinformatic analyses may also be required.

Research activities

Research activities will include:

  • a literature search and review
  • laboratory experiments
  • data analysis.

Skills and experience

Students will need:

  • a basic understanding of cell and molecular biology
  • some undergraduate laboratory experience.



Contact the supervisor for more information.