PhD opportunities

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A network approach to understanding the spread of antibiotic resistance. PhD in Biosciences (GW4 BioMed MRC DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can spread through microbial communities via parasites that jump between species, creating complex network of interactions. As such, controlling AMR will benefit from approaches developed for understanding ecological communities and social networks. The project will combine theory and laboratory techniques to do this.
Clearing Confusion from Concussion. PhD in Sport and Health Sciences (GW4 BioMed MRC DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that temporarily affects brain functioning, and is a major concern in sport. However, the subtle symptoms, such as slow thinking and reaction time, are currently hard to detect without lengthy clinical examinations. This PhD will validate a novel movement protocol to quickly and objectively identify concussions, combining leading clinical diagnosis tools, cutting-edge neuroscience, and technology.
Genetic approaches to understand the complex links between obesity, socio-cultural factors and mental health. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP) Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 Obesity and mental health problems are global issues, but the links between them are complex with sociocultural factors playing a key role. The student will train at 2 world leading centres, utilising global studies (e.g. UK Biobank) and genetic approaches to understand complex relationships between obesity, sociocultural factors and mental health.
Identifying circulating cell-free DNA epigenetic biomarkers for neurodegenerative disorders. PhD in Medical Studies (GW4 Biomed MRC DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 There is a need for a reliable biomarker for Alzheimers disease (AD). Loss of neurones in the brain is a major feature of AD and precedes symptom onset. This project proposes to use neuron-specific epigenetic signatures to detect and measure the amount of circulating cell-free DNA of neuronal origin and explore its use as an AD biomarker.
Immune cell re-programming as a therapy for lung disease. PhD in Medical Studies (GW4 BioMed MRC DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 Ageing populations have increased disease susceptibility, partly due to deteriorating immunity. We will use novel drugs to re-program the immune system, focusing on macrophages, to reduce the progression of deadly lung diseases – and track this using clinical samples, in vitro/in vivo models, next generation sequencing and advanced imaging.
Investigating the remodelling of inhibitory brain circuits in early Alzheimer’s disease. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 The main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are learning and memory loss. Remodelling of neural circuits through the formation and elimination of synapses is key to these cognitive processes. Recent evidence has revealed the importance of remodelling inhibitory synapses in cognition, but little is known about how this is affected in AD. We will study this using cutting-edge in vivo two-photon brain imaging.
Medication of childhood ADHD (MOCA): Adult outcomes and accounts after long-term treatment. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 This project will suit a candidate who wishes to undertake mixed methods training in both epidemiology and qualitative research, and has an interest in ADHD. You will study the impact in adulthood of long-term (>3 years) pharmaceutical treatment for ADHD in childhood. You will train in up to date epidemiological techniques, and thematic analysis.
Neural circuit dysfunction in a mouse model of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 This project will study the neural circuitry of mice with a chromosomal microdeletion that, in humans, greatly increases the risk of developing schizophrenia or ASD. The project will employ a combination of electrophysiology, optogenetics and behaviour to determine how impaired neural circuit function leads to impaired cognition.
Red blood cells and phagocytosis: how the immune system sorts new cells from old.PhD in Mathematics (GW4 BioMed MRC DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 This PhD will investigate, using a unique combination of experiments and simulations, how old red blood cells are cleared by our immune systems via phagocytosis. This has implications for a variety of conditions such as sickle-cell anaemia and thrombosis. Unlike most PhDs, this is an excellent opportunity to learn both the experimental and modelling sides of modern research. Full training in both these areas will form an important part of this project.
Regulation of food preference and reward by the brain. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 Like drugs of abuse, food activates parts of the brain associated with rewarding and pleasurable feelings. People who are obese show changes in activity of this brain reward pathway. This project will investigate how controlling the activity of astrocytes alters motivation to eat and preference for “rewarding” foods which are high in fat and sugar.
Targeting antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria using CRISPR-Cas9 technologies. PhD in Biosciences(GW4 BioMed MRC DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 This studentship will focus on "Targeting antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria using CRISPR-Cas9 technologies"
The epigenetics of Parkinson’s disease: searching for novel drug targets. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 During this PhD, you will be one of the very first people to study the genome-wide epigenetics of Parkinson’s disease. You will determine the first-ever DNA methylation profile in distinct brain cell types of individuals with Parkinson’s. This will involve combining the exciting areas of epigenetics, genetics and bioinformatics. This work will lead to improved mechanistic understanding and suggest novel drug targets to treat this devastating condition.
The influence of JAKMIP1, a key risk gene for autism, on neural circuit function. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 Abnormality of social interaction and motor coordination are the common symptoms of autism. Current data indicate that disruption to the JAKMIP1 gene results in autism phenotypes in mice. This project will focus on investigating disrupted neural processing in the cortex and cerebellum using integrated bioinformatics, molecular biology, and electrophysiology.
The neural circuit basis of spatial memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 The loss of memories of places is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These “spatial memories” are generated by networks of space coding neurons, called place cells, in a key brain structure for memory called the hippocampus. This project will use cutting-edge in vivo brain imaging to discover how place cells become disrupted in AD, and attempt to treat this using drugs that target AD pathology.
Understanding how altered GABA signalling in the brain’s master clock contributes to circadian rhythm disruption in Alzheimer’s disease. PhD in Medical Studies (MRC GW4 BioMed DTP)Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated each year) plus UK/EU tuition fees Mon 25th Nov 19 Circadian rhythm times our sleep and its disruption can exacerbate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. The brain’s master clock uses GABA for circadian timekeeping. GABA activity is affected in AD, but the effect on clock function is unknown. We will study how GABA drives excitability in healthy and AD mouse clock neurons, to restore clock function and improve quality of life.