PhD in skeletal muscle biology and cardiovascular disease


Hull York Medical School, Hull
Closing date: 
29 September 2017
Dr Antonios Matsakas

To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary for candidates applying for of the following project in the Hull-York Medical School.

“The impact of NADPH oxidase inhibition alone or combined with exercise in skeletal muscle of Apolipoprotein E deficient mice”

Supervisor: Dr Antonios Matsakas, Biomedical Sciences;

Co-supervisor: Professor Ian Chetter, Academic Vascular Surgical Unit.

Every year in the UK, cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills over 160,000 individuals (including 40,000 premature deaths) and accounts for 16.2% of all hospital admissions.  Yorkshire and the Humber has one of highest age-standardised CVD death rates in the UK. Atherosclerostic CVD is a major research theme in the HYMS strategic plan.

This is a lab based PhD project studying the attenuation of disease progression in a murine model of atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, cellular oxidative stress is associated with disease progression and poorer outcomes. ApoE deficient mice fed high-fat diets develop atherosclerosis and show increased oxidative stress in peripheral skeletal muscles, resulting in mitochondrial deficiency, altered protein function and poor exercise tolerance. A main enzymatic source of the reactive oxygen species responsible for oxidative stress in several tissues, are NADPH oxidases (NOX). Both NOX deficiency and exercise may reverse oxidative stress and restore physiological functions.

In this established murine model of atherosclerosis, we aim to:

(1) Unpick the metabolic pathway by which physiological stimuli (exercise regimes) attenuate oxidative stress in skeletal muscle.

(2) Test the hypothesis that NOX inhibition utilising newly developed pharmacological agents (NOX inhibitors e.g. ebselen and analogues) alleviates oxidative stress in skeletal muscle.

(3) Investigate whether the effects of exercise and NOX inhibition are synergistic.

The studentship will be an excellent opportunity to undertake a novel project with timely interest for human health. The student will develop expertise in several laboratory based techniques including immunohistochemistry, qPCR and protein biochemistry.

This project is suitable for a highly motivated student with previous laboratory skills and a good honours degree in any biomedical science. The programme is fully funded for UK/EU citizens.

For informal inquiries and discussion of the project contact

The successful applicant will join a vibrant community of current PhD students. The current seminar programme encourages interaction between doctoral students, research associates and fellows. HYMS registered students also have access to the research training modules provided by the Universities of both Hull and York.

Closing Date: - 29th September 2017

Start Date: - 1st January 2018

To apply for this Scholarship please click on the link below for PhD in Medical Sciences full time.

Applications should be made through the HYMS web site stating the project title and supervisor’s name.

Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.