PhD project available: Electron microscopy visualisation of the developing heart at single-cell resolution
The Cell Systems and Mechanobiology Group at the UoM Department of Biomedical Engineering are seeking an outstanding PhD student interested in using cutting-edge microscopy techniques, serial block-face 3D electron microscopy and super-resolution microscopy, to study cardiac development.
Non-compaction cardiomyopathy (NCC) is a congenital heart disease that is considered the third most diagnosed cardiomyopathy in adults. Current consensus points to the process of cardiac compaction and chamber formation during heart development as the origin of NCC. However, very little is known about NCC genetic determinants as most of the ones identified are like other cardiomyopathies. Thus, it is crucial to elucidate the cellular and tissue morphogenetic processes promoting the cardiac defects in the onset of NCC in order to design customized genetic screening panels and treatments for patients.
We are seeking an outstanding PhD student interested in using cutting-edge microscopy techniques, serial block-face 3D electron microscopy and super-resolution microscopy, to study cardiac development. The successful candidate will:
- develop tissue preparation protocols that optimise image acquisition and quality using electron microscopy and/or super resolution techniques.
- process microscopy images into 3D computer models for visualisation and quantitative analysis of chamber formation with and without NCC.
- collaborate with experts in AI, bioinformatics and systems biology to map spatial transcriptomics data onto the rich microscopy derived 3D model of the developing heart.
By the end of this thesis, the student will advance our fundamental understanding of biological processes that coordinate heart development and will have identified key changes that lead to NCC.
The project offers an exciting opportunity to gain experience in a multi-disciplinary environment. The student will work with experts in microscopy and image analysis situated at the Ian Holmes Microscopy Imaging Centre and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne, developmental biologists at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, as well as systems biologists at the Murdoch Childrens’ Research Institute.
If you're interested, contact Associate Professor Vijay Rajagopal, Department of Biomedical Engineering Faculty of Engineering and IT , Group Lead, Cell Systems and Mechanobiology Group at The University of Melbourne. Email: email@example.com