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A Twist In The Mechanism of Heart Disease

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of death in the UK. It is characterized by the build-up of fatty plaques in arteries. Some plaques are stable whereas others develop into dangerous forms that are vulnerable to rupture, an event that causes heart attack and stroke. Complex blood flow patterns at bends or branches of arteries are known to promote the formation of rupture-prone plaques. The mechanisms of this link, which are currently unknown, could inform new therapies to prevent plaque rupture. To elucidate them, we used an unbiased approach to identify flow-responsive genes and found that the transcription factor TWIST1 was unique in driving multiple processes that are known to promote plaque rupture. This PhD research project will include the use of genetic models to determine the role of endothelial TWIST1 in driving plaque progression towards dangerous rupture-prone forms. The proposed research programme has high potential impact because it will lead to the identification of molecular targets in the TWIST1 pathway that can be targeted to reduce the risk of plaque rupture, benefiting patients at risk of heart attack or stroke.

Funding Notes

Suitable for a self-funded student.

Entry Requirements:
Candidates must have a first or upper second class honors degree or significant research experience.


Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Professor Paul Evans
[email protected] , telephone +44 1142159525

How to apply:
Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form available here: www.shef.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply

Please clearly state the prospective main supervisor in the respective box and select Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease as the department.

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