PhD studentship at the Royal Veterinary College, London

Investigating the role of neuropilin 1 in tissue regeneration using the caudal fin regeneration model

RVC Supervisor(s): Dr Caroline Pellet-Many, Professor Caroline Wheeler-Jones
Department: Comparative biomedical Sciences

Background: Wound healing and tissue regeneration are complex processes involving several cell types and are mediated by a variety of cytokines under a tight spatio-temporal regulation. Although healthy mammals are able to heal wounds, their ability to regenerate complex tissues is very limited. In contrast to adult mammals, zebrafish have the remarkable ability to regenerate organs and appendages such as the brain, spine, heart and fins. Because of its accessibility and relatively simple architecture, the zebrafish caudal fin regeneration model has been very useful for investigating epimorphic regeneration. Neuropilins (Nrp1 and Nrp2) are receptors that play key roles during the development of the nervous and vascular systems. Nrp1 is expressed by macrophages and endothelial cells and, recently, our group also shown a role for Nrp1 in the activation of the epicardium and the revascularisation of the regenerating zebrafish heart.

Aims: Using transgenic reporter fish lines identifying macrophages and vessels, the student will focus on characterising the role of Nrp1 in epimorphic regeneration and will investigate a possible role for neurovascular patterning and crosstalk between vessels and macrophages during the growth of new tissue. The student will also use an array of in vitro assays to identify the signalling mechanisms governing crosstalk between the different cell populations involved in regeneration.


The candidate must have a genuine interest in the cardiovascular field and in regenerative medicine. Previous experience in a lab and knowledge of basic molecular biology techniques are desirable.

The project relies on the study of the zebrafish model of caudal fin regeneration and therefore the candidate will need to acquire a Personal Home Office licence and be willing to work with experimental in vivo models of regeneration.

A 3 year fully-funded studentship open to Home/EU applicants. International students are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between UK/EU and international tuition fees.

The studentship will commence in October 2019.

How to Apply

Apply online:
Deadline for application: 10th February 2019.
Interviews will take place between the 8th – 21st March at RVC’s Camden Campus.
We welcome informal enquiries – these should be directed to Dr Caroline Pellet-Many: