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Characterising the skeletal muscle secretome and its role in cardiometabolic disease

Project Description

Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University
Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre
PhD Research Studentship (full-time for 3 years)
Stipend: £14,777 per annum

A three-year PhD studentship is available to UK and EU students. The studentship covers home/EU tuition fees, stipend equivalent to full UK Research Council rate and research expenses.

The Biomolecular Research Centre of Sheffield Hallam University has a fully funded PhD studentship to develop 3D models of skeletal muscle to gain a deeper understanding of how muscle-derived endocrine signals influence cardiometabolic disease via crosstalk with other tissues.

Skeletal muscle is now considered a secretory endocrine organ with the discovery of myokines, hormones produced by muscle tissue, as molecular mediators of the whole-body effects of exercise. The benefits of exercise go beyond those of weight loss alone and may involve crosstalk between muscle and different metabolic organs via the influence of myokines as secreted muscle-derived peptides. Myokines have demonstrated positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors, including type-2 diabetes and obesity, through their ability to stimulate AMP-activated protein kinase signalling, increase glucose uptake and improve lipolysis. Uncovering these mechanisms in 3D cell culture models and identifying specific contraction-induced secretomes will allow the development of novel treatments or exercise protocols that are capable of beneficially modulating metabolic function, skeletal muscle cross-talk and subsequent cardiovascular risk.

The successful candidate will develop a physiologically relevant in vitro model of muscle contraction to characterise specific myokine profiles via proteomic analysis and investigate their role on metabolic function in other tissues.

You will be joining an established research group with expertise in the area of endocrinology, 3D cell culture and analytical proteomic techniques at Sheffield Hallam University.

Eligible candidates should be independently motivated, have good oral/written communication abilities, work well in teams and have obtained or expect to obtain a master’s (merit or distinction) or bachelor’s (first class or 2.1) degree in a relevant discipline. Laboratory experience and proficiency in cell culture, molecular biology, or LC MS/MS are desired but not required.

More information about the Research Centre and at Sheffield Hallam University can be found at

Funding Notes

Candidates should apply to SHU via the University application form, including a 1500 word research proposal demonstrating your background reading on the topic of the PhD and your plans for how you would undertake this programme.

Include a cover letter describing why you are interested in pursuing postgraduate studies and how you meet the selection criteria. Completed application forms to

Application forms can be downloaded at:

View Website

For project enquiries contact

Key Dates:
• Deadline for applications - 29th April 2019
• Interviews will be held 20th - 31st May 2019
• Studentship to begin in October 2019

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