Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Available Positions

  • Recruiting Computational Postdocs!


    Single-cell transcriptomics of planarian stem cell differentiation and regeneration

    The Solana lab is looking for computational postdocs to develop projects on single-cell transcriptomics of planarian and invertebrate stem cell differentiation, with a focus on evolutionary biology. The lab will support fellowship applications to European and British organisations such as Marie Skłodowska-Curie, EMBO and Wellcome Trust. Furthermore, several funding opportunities might become available in the near future. Our lab just started in Oxford. We are three lab members but we will expand soon: join us!

    Background: Single-cell sequencing methods are revolutionizing the study of stem cells. The flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea is a very promising model for in vivo stem cell biology thanks to its large number of stem cells that 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. Combining clustering algorithms with graph mathematics and RNA metabolism information we were able to reconstruct the differentiation lineage tree of planarian stem cells.

    differentiation-lineage-tree-of-planarian-stem-cells

    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 RNAi-mediated gene knockdown in combination with single-cell transcriptomics to profile the effects of each gene in each population at the single-cell level. This will allow elucidating the effect of several transcriptional, posttranscriptional and epigenetic regulators in stem and differentiated cells. 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 stablish the fundamental cellular mechanisms that underlie their regenerative processes.

    For details about funding possibilities contact Dr. Jordi Solana jsolana@brookes.ac.uk

    For suitability enquiries please include a CV and a brief motivation email.