Biomedical Science PhD Studentship (1 of 2)

Degree: PhD
University: The University of Edinburgh , Faculty: College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
City: Edinburgh , Country: United Kingdom
Discipline: Life Sciences, Medicine & Health
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  • Start Date of Studies September, October
  • Admission deadline April 1st 2010
  • Programme Alternatives full-time
  • Language English
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  • Programme Description

    Programme Description

    Using high resolution confocal, deconvolution and electron microscopy intracellular membrane-membrane junctions (<100 nm across) have been identified in which ion channels and transporters are positioned to constitute nanodomains in which compartmentalized calcium signals can regulate discrete cellular functions. For example, in smooth muscle the identified nanodomains may explain the paradoxical finding that calcium signals may mediate contraction, dilation and differential gene expression. Unfortunately, the spatiotemporal resolution afforded by state-of-the-art imaging techniques is not sufficient to allow for accurate quantitative analysis of signaling events within nanodomains. Therefore, using MCell software ( we are currently developing mathematical modeling of Ca2+ transport based on Brownian dynamics-style simulations, namely, ionic diffusion simulated by random walk algorithms in a computational model comprising all the relevant physical and physiological information acquired from our experimental studies (transporter kinetics, capacities, affinities, abundance, localization, etc). Models generated will output Ca2+ signalling data (including physically and physiologically accurate visualization of the system) that will enable us to extend and formulate hypotheses to allow for further, informed experimental studies of compartmentalized Ca2+ signaling mechanisms.


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