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Master‘s Thesis: Fine-tuning of mesenchymal cell differentiation

Mesenchymal tissues like muscle and bone constantly adapt to their demands. To provide new cells for growth and regeneration, mesenchymal precursor cells in the adult human body are activated and differentiate into mature cell types such as myofibers and osteocytes. This process is tightly modulated and fine-tuned by a network of different signaling molecules to ensure proper tissue homeostasis. We have identified a new adaptor protein linked to the BMP pathway that is regulated during differentiation of mesenchymal progenitor cells. Preliminary data show that modulating the level of this adaptor protein leads to increased muscle fiber formation (Fig. 1), potentially by affecting cytoskeletal remodeling and signaling pathways involved in differentiation.

Fig. 1: Myosin Heavy Chain (green) marks differentiated myofibers. Altering the levels of the adaptor protein leads to changes in myogenic differentiation (B)Fig. 1: Myosin Heavy Chain (green) marks differentiated myofibers. Altering the levels of the adaptor protein leads to changes in myogenic differentiation (B)

We are looking for a motivated Master student to further analyze the role of this adaptor protein in myogenic and osteogenic differentiation. The candidate will perform knockdown and overexpression studies to investigate its impact on selected signaling pathways, cytoskeletal remodeling and cell differentiation.

The following techniques will be employed:

  • Cell culture, transfection and differentiation of murine and human myoblasts and osteoblasts
  • Analysis of signal transduction via Western Blot, qPCR and fluorescence microscopy
  • Live Cell Imaging


Starting from 16.01.17

 

Please send your applications to

Patrizia Weigell, AG Prof. Knaus

pweigell (at) zedat.fu-berlin.de

Institut für Chemie und Biochemie

Thielallee 63, 14195 Berlin

030/838-51774