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Central regulation of appetite and body weight

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Prof S Luckman  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Our laboratory is interested in how the brain regulates appetite and body weight. We use a multi-disciplined approach; studying gene expression, cellular function, brain connectivity and behaviour. All of research uses transgenic mouse models which allow us to investigate and modulate the activity of specific neurones and their connections.

The student will discover central pathways which control food intake. Resolving these circuits will not only expand our understanding of how ingestive behaviour is regulated, but it will also inform design of novel medications with improved efficacy and patient compliance.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in neuroscience or physiology. Only candidates with prior relevant research experience are 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 ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.

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”

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 3 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (


Worth, A.A., Shoop, R., Tye, K., Feetham, C.H., D’Agostino, G., Dodd, G.T., Reimann, F., Gribble, F.M., Beebe, E.C., Dunbar, J.D., Alexander-Chacko, J.T., Sindelar, D.K., Coskun, T., Emmerson, P.J. and Luckman, S.M., 2020, The cytokine GDF15 signals through a population of brainstem cholecystokinin neurons to mediate anorectic signalling. eLife 9: e55164 (online Jul 29) (doi: 10.7554/eLife.55164).

Jones, E.S., Nunn, N., Chambers, A.P., Østergaard, S., Wulff, B.S. and Luckman, S.M., 2019, Modified peptide YY molecule attenuates the activity of NPY/AgRP neurons and reduces food intake in mice. Endocrinology 160: 2737-2747 (online May 10) (doi: 10.1210/en.2019-00100).

Khodai, T.J., Nunn, N., Worth, A.A., Feetham, C.H., Belle, M.D.C., Piggins, H.D. and Luckman, S.M, 2018, PACAP neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus are glucose inhibited and their selective activation induces hyperglycaemia. Front. Endocrinol. 9: 632 (online Oct 30) (doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00632).

Schéle, E., Cook, C., Le May, M., Bake, T., Luckman, S.M. and Dickson, S.L., 2017, Central administration of ghrelin induces conditioned avoidance in rodents. European Neuropsychopharmacology 27: 809-815 (online Jun 21) (doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.05.001).

Dodd, G.T., Worth, A.A., Nunn, N., Korpal, A.K., Bechtold, D.A., Allison, M.B., Myers, M.G., Statnick, M.A. and Luckman, S.M., 2014,The thermogenic effect of leptin is dependent on a distinct population of prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus. Cell Metab. 20: 639-649 (online Aug 28) (doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2014.07.022).
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