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Investigating the role of Neuropilin-1 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer metastasis and chemoresistance

Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are negative for Estrogen Receptor, Progesterone Receptor and HER2 expression, are clinically aggressive and are unresponsive to the available hormonal or targeted drugs used for other breast cancer subtypes, so that TNBC patients rely mainly on chemotherapy. TNBC accounts for 15-20% of all invasive breast cancer and patients have increased risk of recurrence, mortality and early metastatic progression. Thus, there is an urgent clinical need to develop improved treatment strategies for TNBC. Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is a …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Role of microRNAs (miRNA) in progression and development of liver disease

Liver disease is a significant burden on society, accounting for more than 2 million deaths worldwide. miRNAs can exert causal roles, being pro- or anti-inflammatory, as well as pro- or antifibrotic mediators or being oncogenes as well as tumour suppressor genes. In this project we will identify novel miRNAs which play a role in the progression and development of liver disease and delineate the mechanisms utilised by these miRNAs using cell and mouse models of disease.Aim 1: To identify differentially …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Illuminating the microbial world using genome-based fluorescence microscopy

Our understanding of microbial diversity on Earth has been fundamentally changed by metagenomic characterisation of natural ecosystems. Traditional approaches for visualising microbial communities are time-consuming and provide limited information about the identity of specific microorganisms.The proposed research aims to combine single cell genomics and super resolution microscopy for novel, high-throughput, genome-based techniques to visualise microorganisms, plasmids and viruses, with strain level specificity. The application of these highly scalable approaches will provide comprehensive and unprecedented insight into the fine-scale dynamics and …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Adaptive evolution of anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea mediating methane oxidation in freshwater environments

The as-yet-uncultured archaeal lineage Methanoperedenaceae are anaerobic methanotrophs with a key role in mitigating the atmospheric release of methane in freshwater environments. The metabolic diversity of these microorganisms directly links methane with several key biochemical cycles and suggests a remarkable ability of these microorganisms to adapt to diverse environmental conditions.The overall aim of this PhD project will be to uncover the metabolic diversity of the Methanoperedenaceae and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for these adaptations.Methods and ResourcesThe project will …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Developing in vitro 3D models to understand liver disease

Several studies have demonstrated the appropriateness of 3D organoid cultures over the conventional 2D cultures, the advantages of 3D models include replicating the complex attributes of the liver beyond liver-specific metabolism, such as increased cell density, organization, and cell–cell signalling, O2 zonation.In this project we will establish a novel in vitro 3D model to study hepatocyte biology in the context of liver disease. A more comprehensive approach to investigating the intercellular mechanisms of NAFLD will include co-culture of organoids with …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Identification and functional characterisation of genetic modifiers of iron overload

Iron is an element essential for virtually all life forms; aberrant iron metabolism is linked to many diseases. These include cancers, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, iron overload and iron deficiency disorders, iron-loading anaemias, and the anaemia associated with chronic disease. Central to proper iron regulation is the appropriate expression and activity of the liver-expressed regulatory peptide, hepcidin, and the iron exporter, ferroportin (FPN). Modulating the expression and activity of hepcidin and FPN, and their interaction is …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Understanding the role of TGF signalling intermediates in liver and iron-related disease

Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and its family members is involved in many phases of liver disease development and iron regulation. We have identified unexplored players in liver disease and iron-related disorders: TGF signalling intermediates. In this project, we build on our exciting findings to examine the molecular mechanisms involved in TGF signalling intermediates-mediated disease progression and their potential as targets for liver and iron-related disease.Aim 1: To examine the expression of TGF signalling intermediates in the liver.Aim 2: To …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Role of Peroxisomes in fatty liver disease

Liver disease is an increasing burden on society, accounting for more than 2 million deaths worldwide. Peroxisomes are multifunctional cellular organelles which are highly enriched in the liver. Our preliminary data shows that defects in a peroxisomal protein affects the ability of the liver to respond to toxic insults. In this research proposal, we build on these important and exciting findings to examine the relationship between peroxisome dysfunction and liver disease.Aim 1: To examine the expression and function of peroxisomal …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Targeting Fibrosis: Identification of novel natural compounds to modulate collagen expression

Liver disease is a huge and increasing burden on society; it can be due to a number of different reasons including excessive alcohol consumption, viral infections, and non-alcoholic liver disease. Each of these causes may have a different molecular pathway of developing the disease pathology, but one common feature is there is an injury or insult to the liver. This injury then results in activation of the wound healing process; when this healing process goes awry liver disease can develop, …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Identifying emergent ecosystem responses through genes-to-ecosystems integration at Stordalen Mire

Permafrost thaw induced by climate change is predicted to make up to 174 Pg of near-surface carbon (less than 3m below the surface) available for microbial degradation by 2100. Despite having major implications for human health, prediction of the magnitude of carbon loss as carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) is hampered by our limited knowledge of microbial metabolism of organic matter in these environments. Genome-centric meta-omic analysis of microbial communities provides the necessary information to examine how specific lineages …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Renewal and differentiation in human neural stem cells and their application to understanding neurological disorders

The effective regeneration of brain tissue requires an understanding of the factors mediating the damage as well as the integration of new/replacement cells to form new functional neural networks. The isolation and expansion of human stem cells and limited neural lineage differentiation have provided the foundation for strategies in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. We utilise iPSC-derived NPCs and patient-derived (Alzheimer’s disease; AD) iPSCs and neural lineage differentiation of hMSCs, iPSC NPCs and AD iPSCs in neuronal and glial culture …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Investigation of genetic factors that contribute to concussion and its outcomes

The health outcomes from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussion depend on the nature of the injury, but response also varies greatly between individuals, suggesting that genetic factors may play a role. In particular, due to effects of head trauma on balances of ions, neurotransmitters and energy use in the brain, there is suggestion that variation in the genes that encode proteins involved in these pathways, e.g. ion channels, may affect the risk of, as well as response to a …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

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