Skeletal muscle possesses a remarkable capacity to regenerate after disturbances like exercise or acute or chronic injury. Muscle regeneration is characterised by a well-timed network of different cell types providing an environment that allows the activation of muscle stem cells, called satellite cells (SCs) to regenerate the damaged tissue. One of the cell types involved in the regenerative stem cell niche are fibro/adipogenic progenitors (FAPs). Upon injury, FAPs enter the cell cycle and expand to produce cytokines and deposit extracellular matrix (ECM) to enhance differentiation of SCs into muscle fibers. In ageing as well as in pathological conditions such as muscular dystrophies, FAPs differentiate into adipocytes and contribute to fibrosis.
Master thesis projects are available to better understand the role of microRNAs in this process using mouse models for muscle regeneration and work with primary muscle cells from mice and humans.
Skeletal muscle regeneration, stem cell niche, miRNA, cell culture, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence
You should be:
This project will include animal experiments.
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare and highly metastatic malignancy. Even though recent molecular and diagnostic advancements have been achieved, novel therapeutic strategies are still not in sight.
Research in our group aims at developing tumor models (in vitro and in vivo), and establishing new therapeutic approaches in endocrine tumors. Our research group has been successful in developing a novel patient-derived tumor model (MUC-1), that has the potential to improve clinical prediction for ACC. As part of this project, we would now like to analyze the whole genome sequencing profiles of two adrenocortical carcinoma cell lines. These tumor models display varied molecular, biochemical and mutational signatures that closely mimics the clinical situation. Co-supervised by an experienced postdoc in the lab you will apply various bioinformatics tools and pipelines to characterize the mutations that drive cancer progression, gene amplifications, SNPs, and identify potential causative variants.
You will be part of a young and dynamic international research group embedded in the interactive and supportive research environment of our Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition. You will participate in weekly group meetings, one-on-one discussions, progress report seminars and literature sessions and benefit from a comprehensive scientific education in a vibrant research environment.
You should have a high level of motivation and a genuine interest in Genomics and molecular cancer research. Prior experience with Bioinformatics and Sequencing techniques is a plus.
Interested candidates should contact us, or directly send their CV together with a short motivation letter (Starting date: Negotiable).
Dr. Constanze Hantel
Head of Endocrine Research Lab
Klinik für Endokrinologie, Diabetologie und Klinische Ernährung
Universitätsspital Zürich, Schlieren Campus