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University of Nottingham: Cellular and Developmental Biology PhD/MRes

Institution University of Nottingham
Department School of Medicine
Study type Research


Our Cellular and Developmental Biology grouping is made up of the following available PhD and MRes titles:

  • Cell Biology

  • Developmental Biology

  • Stem Cell Biology

  • Molecular Cell Biology

We are ranked 8th in the UK for research power (2014). The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system used by UK higher education funding bodies to assess research quality in universities.

  • Life sciences ranked 9th in the UK for research power

  • More than 97% of research at Nottingham is recognised internationally

  • More than 80% of our research is ranked in the highest categories as world-leading or internationally excellent

  • 16 of our 29 subject areas feature in the UK top 10 by research power

94.9% of postgraduates from the School of Life Sciences secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £21,400 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £40,000.*

  • Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

The MRes/PhD titles you can choose from in this field are:

Cell Biology

This research area has grown enormously over the last decade and now embodies a number of disciplines.

At Nottingham, we adopt an integrated approach in which several strategies are developed to address particular problems in cell biology. Some areas we focus on are:

  • Understanding how the unlimited potential of primordial germ cells is governed at a molecular level during development in representative species such as amphibians and mice.

  • Discovering the important processes governed by the structures and dynamics of numerous macromolecules.

  • Examining protein-protein, protein-membrane and receptor-mediated interactions within cells using state-of-the-art imaging systems.

Developmental Biology

Within the developmental biology research area, a number of model systems are being used to study various aspects of vertebrate development with a major focus on the development of stem cells.

Specific projects include:

  • the development of blood stem cells and vasculature in zebrafish

  • the development of neural stem cells in zebrafish and in mice

  • the properties of mesenchymal stem cells

  • primordial germ cells and gene networks that govern the development of vertebrate embryos

Stem Cell Biology

Stem cell research is one of the hottest areas of research in modern biology. At Nottingham, we are pursuing several relevant projects to examine the role of stem cells in a variety of tissues and organs including:

  • Cardiac and skeletal muscle,

  • Neural

  • Blood and vasculature

  • Primordial germ cells.

We are employing a range of model organisms in these studies and projects are available in each of the areas described.

Molecular Cell Biology

Examples of the research we do in the field of molecular cell biology includes:

  • the analysis of structure, function and dynamics of telomeres in yeast and parasites, and of centromeric DNA in mammalian cells

  • investigation of stress-response networks in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and of micro RNAs during the evolution of developmental processes in Drosophila

  • establishment of the relationship between nuclear structure and function using the giant nuclei of amphibian oocytes

  • analysis of biological membranes, biomaterials and biophysical aspects of cellular interactions as well as filopodia, lamellipodia and stress fiber formation

  • investigation of blood substitutes from microbial cell factories and of artificial gas-carrying fluids for enhancing growth of cells in culture

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Master of Research - MRes

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