Fully Funded Studentship Defining the roles of endothelial integrins in the angiogenesis of bone (ROBINSON_U14DTP)

University of East AngliaSchool of Biological Sciences (UEA)


29 November 2013. Available from 1 October 2014.

Dr Stephen Robinson


The Project:

Angiogenesis is the mechanism by which new blood vessels form from those that already exist.  It is a process that occurs throughout our lives so that all the tissues of our body have an adequate blood supply.  It happens naturally during our embryonic development, to maintain healthy tissues as they turnover, and during wound healing.  Imbalances in the process occur as we get older or develop disease.  Because mis-regulated angiogenesis is associated with so many diseases (well over 70), much effort has been put into studying its role in contributing to pathologies. In contrast, there is a relative paucity of studies examining how various molecules interact to control normal angiogenesis in general and within bone in particular – an organ system that is critical to health and wellbeing throughout life. 

The primary cellular drivers of angiogenesis are endothelial cells (those cells that form the inner lining of the vasculature).  Their interaction with the extracellular environment and migration toward angiogenic signals is mediated by extracellular matrix receptors called integrins.  The goal of this project is to determine, using mouse cell-specific knockout models, exactly how endothelial avß3-integrin and a5ß1-integrin interact to regulate angiogenesis within bone throughout life; from embryonic development through to old age. During this project, you will develop expertise in a wide range of cross-disciplinary techniques, including working with knockout mice, live animal imaging, tissue harvesting, endothelial cell isolation, cell imaging, tissue culture, immunohistochemistry, and biochemical assays including mass spectrometry and Western blot analyses.  You will need to be dedicated, self-driven, organised and creative.  You will need to regularly keep abreast of rapidly changing literature so that findings from other studies and our own lab can be communicated effectively and in a timely manner.

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Entry Requirements:

2:1 or 2:2 plus Masters. English Language – IELTS 6.5 overall with 6 in each category.

Funding for PhD studentships from BBSRC is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria including the 3-year UK residency requirements. These requirements are detailed in the BBSRC eligibility guidelines:


All candidates should check to confirm their eligibility for funding.

The current stipend for 2013/14 is £13,726 per annum.

Making Your Application:

For further information and to apply, please visit the ‘How to Apply’ page on our website by clicking Apply.

Additional Information:

In keeping with the postgraduate training policy of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) all students recruited onto this programme will be required to undertake a three months internship during the second or third year of their study. The internship will offer exciting and invaluable experience of work in an area outside of research, and full support and advice will be provided by a professional team from the UEA.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) – a collaboration between the Norwich Biosciences Institutes and the University of East Anglia.  Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the Studentship Competition.  The interview dates will be the 14th and 15th January 2014.

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