Joane Browne Legacy 3 year PhD studentship in Medicine


Professor Paul Greenhaff, Nottingham
Closing date: 
28 February 2017
Professor Paul Greenhaff

Characterising IBD Fatigue 

University of Nottingham studentship, Lead supervisors: Dr Gordon Moran, Professor Paul Greenhaff, Professor Susan Francis, Dr Sebastien Serres. 

This fully-funded studentship will perform very novel research to characterise fatigue in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 

Inflammatory bowel disease fatigue is the commonest symptom in active Crohn’s disease and the second commonest complaint in remission. Fatigue may arise from peripheral and central processes. Peripheral fatigue is linked to reduced muscle mass and deconditioning and consequently reduced muscle function, while central fatigue may arise from attenuated cardiac output and diminished cerebral blood perfusion. 

The studentship will aim to deconstruct the roles of central and peripheral fatigue through 31P MR Spectroscopy-based experiments during within-bore exercise, while cardiac output and cerebral perfusion will be quantified using MR Imaging under the same conditions. 

The studentship is fully funded by the Joane Browne Legacy with a start date of July 2017. The studentship will be hosted by the newly £23.6M funded NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre with strong Gastroenterology and Musculoskeletal Research themes and a cross-cutting Advanced Imaging theme. IBD fatigue is a funded theme within the BRC with funds in place to cover for consumables for this project. 

The student will enrol in the FHMS n-Trans PhD programme, supplemented by modules in MRS/MRI methods, acquisition and data analysis. They will undertake training to become an MR scanner operator, and complete MRI software libraries training (e.g. FSL, SPM and FreeSurfer). 

Students will undertake training in research methods, Good Clinical Practice, Ethics and enrol in the Graduate School Researcher Development Programme providing transferrable skills. 

This training package will provide a unique and multi-disciplinary training and wide skill portfolio, and will equip the student with an interdisciplinary core provision, cross-cutting from image analysis to whole body physiology. Work will be presented at international conferences and submitted for publication. The student will get a first rate training in human in vivo imaging and metabolism research in a world-leading research environment, leading to a successful early career scientist with all the skills to secure a post-doctoral position in a leading lab. 

The post will suit a future clinician who wants to develop expertise in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, nutrition and muscle physiology, a physiologist who wants to develop expertise in MRI and whole body physiology or an MR physicist who wants to develop expertise in fMRI and MR spectroscopy. 

The student will benefit from working with Dr Gordon Moran (primary supervisor) within an established gastrointestinal research team at the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Biomedical Research Unit (, Professor Paul Greenhaff (secondary supervisor) and Dr 

Sebastien Serres within the MRC/ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research ( and the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre (SPMIC) under the tutorship of Professor Susan Francis (secondary supervisor) ( This group has existing collaborative work, and state of the art research and computing facilities will be available to the appointed student. 

Clinical applicants (depending on seniority) will be offered up to 2 fixed clinical sessions per week and the opportunity to join the out-of-hours on call GI rota at the Queen’s Medical Centre. The Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest hospital Trusts in the UK with an annual budget of more than £820 million, a total of 2,200 hospital beds across campuses and over 14,500 staff. NUH is a major teaching Trust, enjoying close links with the region’s Universities and attracting and developing the highest calibre of staff. The work carried out at NUH has led to a reputation for excellence and is making a very real difference to people’s lives. As a tertiary-level care academic institution NUH serves a population of approximately 1 million people for secondary-level care and 4.5 million people for tertiary-level care in the east midlands of the UK. Collectively we care for ca. 4000 adult IBD patients between 4 IBD specialists. 

The studentships will be administered through the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham. Standard Research Council stipend rates will apply. The stipend (£14,296 – £43,858) within the studentship will be depend if the appointee is of a clinical background and associated relevant seniority. University fees will be funded separately by the Studentship. 

Applications are invited from potential and recent UK or EU graduates. Students will be expected to start on July 1st 2017. 

For further details contact: 

Dr. Gordon Moran (Clinical Associate Professor in Gastroenterology, School of Medicine) 


Phone: +44 (0)115 9249924 ext 70608 


Applications should be in the form of a detailed CV and a covering letter. The CV should contain the names and contacts (including e-mails) of two referees, and the type, class and grade (or that predicted) of your degree. Please send your application to Miss Emma Bradley, Nottingham Digestive Diseases Biomedical Research Unit, E floor, West Block Block, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH or e-mail (tel: 0044 115 823 1090.). 

Closing date: 28/2/2018. We plan to hold interviews in mid-March 2017.