Probing cellular responses to environmental and metabolic stress.

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology


Volatile metabolites released by cells can be measured to sensitively diagnose
functional changes (e.g. certain disease states) in individual organisms but they
have not yet been used to probe cellular function. We have recently developed
a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method that allows us to accurately
and sensitively quantify volatile metabolites from a small number of cultured
cells. This method can predict cell type and changes in cellular environment.
This analytical approach therefore lends itself to answering critical questions
about cell function.
Oxidative status impacts long term health and contributes to ageing and
senescence. Defects in mitochondrial function generate reactive oxygenated
species (ROS), which are damaging to cells, and deplete anti-oxidant co-factors
essential for cell function. However, we do not yet know whether changes in
these metabolites can be detected in the volatilome.
This PhD will use cutting edge analytical approaches to explore standing
defences to ROS, providing insight into short-term and long-term effects on cell
health. The project will focus on three model organisms (Drosophila, cultured
mammalian cells, and fresh tissue) and will thus expose the student to a range
of state-of-the-art models and methods. The student will receive thorough
postgraduate training supported by a multidisciplinary team of supervisors with
strong research backgrounds in this area.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
2280349 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Theo John Issitt