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PhD in molecular medicine-3 year contract (Ulm) PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 24 April 2010 20:46

We are interested in intermediate filaments (IFs), which are cell type-specifically expressed cytoskeletal proteins, whose cytoprotective function is evident in >70 inherited human disorders, which are caused/aggravated by genetic IF variants. Vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) are the primary IFs of astrocytes, stellate and enteric glia cells. Even though GFAP is a widely used stellate/enteric glia cell marker, the role of IFs in both cell types is unknown.
The aim of your PhD project will be to study the impact of vimentin/GFAP ablation on biology of stellate and enteric glia cells. You will combine studies at the cellular level with animal models of colitis and hepatic or pancreatic fibrosis. You will induce liver fibrosis with carbon tetrachloride or thioacetamide injections as well as bile duct ligation, while pancreatic fibrosis will be accomplished through caerulein administration. Dextran sodium sulfate- and 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid will be employed to cause murine colitis. The situation in vimentin/GFAP knockout animals will be compared with the respective single knockouts as well as non-transgenic mice. On cellular level, you will study the influence of the respective IF-gene knockouts on the IF network architecture and mechanical resilience of the cells. You will also analyze the impact of IF-deficiency on cell proliferation, migration, susceptibility to apoptosis as well as the accompanying genetic/epi!
genetic alterations.
Your work should result in better understanding of stellate/enteric glia cell biology which is of great importance given the importance of both cell types in development of hepatic/pancreatic fibrosis as well as in pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.



Pavel Strnad
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Universität/Uniklinik Ulm

Ansprechpartner: Pavel Strnad



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