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Analysing the factors that regulate expression of blood-brain barrier drug transporter proteins


   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health


Manchester United Kingdom Biochemistry Cell Biology Molecular Biology Neuroscience Medicine Pharmacology Pharmacy

About the Project

In order to treat diseases associated with the central nervous system (CNS), e.g. cancer, Parkinson’s disease, depression, it is essential for therapeutic drugs to be able to penetrate into the brain. However, efficient drug delivery to the CNS is extremely challenging since drugs must cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), whose function is to protect the brain from exposure to xenobiotics, including therapeutic drugs.

Efflux transporters are also involved in the transport of endogenous physiological compounds, including beta-amyloid associated with Alzheimer’s disease, hormones and numerous metabolites, thereby preventing accumulation of the latter in the CNS and helping maintain CNS homeostasis.

Whilst efflux transporters (including P-glycoprotein and breast cancer resistance protein) expressed in BBB endothelial cells can interfere with drug delivery and have important roles to play in both physiological and pathophysiological events, little is known about what regulates transporter expression and activity in the BBB.

Therefore, the aim of this project is to investigate how the expression of efflux transporters located in BBB endothelial cells is regulated in physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

The project will be conducted within Manchester Pharmacy School, recently confirmed as the leading UK research base for Pharmacy following the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Pablo Torres-Vergara from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidad de Concepcion, Chile. The successful candidate will form part of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary research team with research interests in understanding the mechanisms controlling the regulation of transporter protein expression and activity.

Studies will employ in vitro models of the BBB and training will be provided in aseptic cell culture, cell viability assays, measurement of transporter activity and molecular biological techniques.

Candidates are expected to hold a minimum upper-second (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in biochemistry, cell biology, pharmacology, pharmacy or related subject. A Masters qualification is highly desirable.

This 3-year full-time PhD is open to candidates able to provide evidence of self-arranged funding/sponsorship and is due to commence from January 2020 onwards.

Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr. Penny (). Applications are invited on an on-going basis but early expression of interest is encouraged.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience, particularly in cell culture and molecular biology, are particularly encouraged to apply.

How To Apply

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/). Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select PhD Genetics

For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/equality-diversity-inclusion/”

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit http://www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk


Funding Notes

This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website. For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website. Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.

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