The Solana lab is looking for a postdoctoral computational researcher to work on single-cell transcriptomic and genomics of planarian stem cell differentiation. Our lab just started in Oxford Brookes University. We are currently three lab members but we will expand soon. We recently obtained funding from the MRC to expand our single-cell analysis of planarian stem cells.
Single-cell analysis methods are revolutionizing the study of stem cells and development. The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is a very promising model for stem cell biology thanks to its large number of stem cells. They continuously differentiate to all adult cell types and that enable its amazing regenerative capacities. We have previously used single-cell transcriptomics to study stem cell differentiation in planarians (see Plass, Solana et al. Science 2018). Combining clustering algorithms with graph mathematics and RNA metabolism information, we were able to reconstruct the differentiation lineage tree of planarian stem cells. Our methods, together with those of other groups analysing the developmental biology of Zebrafish, Xenopus and other models at the single-cell level, have been the Breakthrough of the Year 2018 by the Science Magazine.
Future projects in the lab will use these methods and develop them further to study stem cells in planarians and other organisms. Planarians offer the advantage that the whole lineage tree of differentiation is present in just one stage, their adult. Therefore, we can study all differentiated cells, their progenitors and the stem cells all at once. We will use single-cell genomic methods to investigate the regulation of stem cell differentiation at the genomic and transcriptomic level. We will also use the same tools to study other planarian species to get insights into cell type evolution and the regulation of their differentiation. Finally, we will examine other regenerative species to establish the fundamental cellular mechanisms that underlie animal regeneration.
For details about funding possibilities contact Dr. Jordi Solana jsolana[at]brookes.ac.uk
For suitability enquiries please include a CV and a brief motivation email.
To apply, please follow the link: