Obesity is a major public health issue affecting one third of UK adults, and an estimated 2.1 billion individuals worldwide. The role of circadian clock dysfunction in the development of obesity is becoming clear, with disruptive lifestyles (e.g. shift work) promoting metabolic disorder, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Metabolic disease (e.g. insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia) is a principal cause of morbidity in obesity, and must therefore be a focus for therapeutic intervention. Recent work has highlighted the importance of adipocyte function in conferring cardiometabolic risk. White adipose tissue (WAT) adipocytes act as an essential energy buffer, safely storing excess energy as triglyceride. However, as obesity develops, adipocytes become dysfunctional, and WAT inflammation and fibrosis develops. We and others have shown that manipulating circadian clock factors alters the adipocyte response to obesity. For example, in mice with adipocyte-targeted deletion of core clock gene Reverbα (Nr1d1), high-fat diet-feeding leads to greater accumulation of fat mass (compared to littermate controls), but with less obesity-associated pathology. This raises important questions: 1) What is the role of adipocyte circadian clock in health? 2) How do clock factors regulate the adipocyte response to obesity? 3) Can the adipocyte circadian clock be exploited for therapeutic benefit?
1. 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 experience in metabolic phenotyping or molecular biology techniques are encouraged to apply.
2. 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 the PhD title.
3. 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 www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk