Drosophila Developmental Genetics

PhD studentship

PhD Research Studentship

Title: Developmental genetics of cell migration

The movement of cells throughout the body is a fundamental feature of metazoan development. Aberrant migration leads to developmental abnormalities and can lead to the spread of disease within the body, most notably in the case of cancer metastasis. Whilst many of the signals to which cells respond in order to initiate or direct migration are known, less is understood about the distances to which these signalling molecules act in vivo and how movements are orchestrated between multiple cell types.

We use the migration of the germ cells during embryogenesis in the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, as our in vivo system. The germ cells give rise to a stem cell population that provide a continual supply of eggs and sperm in the adult, and are therefore essential for the propagation of the species. The germ cells migrate to find and associate with the somatic cells of the gonad. Our lab is interested in understanding the complex interplay between these two cell types, including the role of a lipid signal in guiding the germ cells (Mukerjee et al. 2013).

This project will combine the use of genetics, biochemistry and microscopy thereby providing comprehensive skills and training to students embarking on a career in life science research. We are based in the Queen’s Medical Centre of Nottingham University, which provides a well-equipped and vibrant developmental biology community. This project will be supervised by Dr Andrew Renault. For more details see http://www.germcell.co.uk and http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/life-sciences/

Applicants should have, or will expect to attain at least a 2i degree classification in biology or a related discipline. This studentship is available for a period of at least 3 years starting no later than 1st October 2014, and provides a stipend of £13,726 per annum and covers University fees at the UK/EU rate (and therefore this position is only available to UK/EU citizens).

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Andrew Renault at andrew.renault@nottingham.ac.uk

Applications, with a detailed CV, the names and addresses of 2 referees and a statement of why you would be interested in this project, should be sent to Dr Andrew Renault, School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, or to andrew.renault@nottingham.ac.uk. Open until filled.

Selected References:
Mukherjee A., Neher R.A., and Renault, A.D. (2013) Quantifying the range of a lipid phosphate signal in vivo. Journal of Cell Science. Sep 4
Morris A.J., Smith S.S., Salous A.K. and Renault A.D., (2013) Book chapter “Lipid Phosphate Phosphatases: Recent Progress and Assay Methods” in Lysophospholipid Receptors: Signaling and Biochemistry, John Wiley & Sons. Editors: Hla T., Spiegel S., Moolenaar W. and Chun J.
Renault A.D.*, Kunwar P.S. and Lehmann R. (2010) Lipid phosphate phosphatase activity regulates dispersal and bilateral sorting of embryonic germ cells in Drosophila. Development, 137 (11) 1815-23. *corresponding author
Renault A.D., Sigal Y., Morris A. and Lehmann R. (2004) Soma-germ line competition for lipid phosphate uptake regulates germ cell migration and survival. Science, 305 (5692) 1963-1966