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Deciphering the molecular basis of cardiac arrhythmias induced by pollutant gases

   Faculty of Life Sciences

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  Dr Jacobo Elies Gomez, Dr Jurgen Muller  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Epidemiological data reports that the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias is more prevalent in polluted areas, and numerous clinical reports show that exposure to air pollutants increases the occurrence of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction and cardiac arrhythmias. This research project will investigate how pollutant gases affect cardiac function and trigger life-threatening arrhythmias at a cellular level, with an emphasis on ion channel activity, oxidative stress, and calcium transients in cardiomyocytes.  

The project is in collaboration with ApconiX Ltd (a company with expertise in drug safety development, focused on cardiovascular liability in early phases of drug development), so the successful candidate will benefit from both academic and industrial research environments.

The University supervisory team has extensive experience in cardiovascular electrophysiology/live cell imaging (Dr Jacobo Elíes, Faculty of Life Sciences, UoB) and cellular signalling/regulation of kinases in the vascular system (Dr Jürgen Müller, ICT, UoB).

The successful candidate will gain expertise in whole-cell patch clamp (electrophysiology), live-cell imaging (cardiac calcium transients), cell signalling (proteomics and molecular biology), and in vitro assessment of cardiac arrhythmias (Comprehensive In vitro Pro-arrhythmia Assay, CiPA).

They will take part in all aspects of the research project: data generation, analyses and interpretation of results, and dissemination of the results, including presentations at international conferences and publication of research articles in high impact scientific journals.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, creative, team-player, fluent in English, with a strong commitment to research.

This is a bespoke and well-funded training and personal development opportunity which will enhance lab-based and management skills, and provide research experience in industry. Funding covers tuition fees, bench fees and stipend for the PhD candidate starting at £15,609 per year. Stipend increases every year, typically with inflation.

Essential requirements:

Master degree in Cardiovascular, Electrophysiology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Biophysics, and Neurobiology or relevant scientific/technical discipline with a keen interest in disease-oriented research in a relevant system.  

Desirable attributes:

Prior experience in electrophysiology (microelectrode arrays, extracellular field potential recordings, and patch-clamp) applied to isolated cells is desirable, but not essential, as full training in these disciplines will be provided. However, a keen interest in electrophysiology is a prerequisite. Knowledge in fluorescence and confocal microscopy, and imaging-based assays (such as calcium imaging).

Interviews will be held 9th – 13th May 2022. Starting date:  September/October 2022.

Funding Notes

This project includes funding which covers UK tuition and bench fees, and a stipend at UKRI rates for living costs. Non-UK students may need to self-fund the difference between the UK and International fees.
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