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Development of a Long Acting Parathyroid Hormone Fusion for the Treatment of Hypoparathyroidism


   Department of Oncology and Metabolism

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  Dr Ian Wilkinson  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is an 84 aa peptide produced by the parathyroid glands and is responsible for calcium homeostasis. Hypoparathyroidism is a rare condition in which the parathyroid glands are either absent or damaged and therefore cannot produce any or sufficient amounts of parathyroid hormone. Current treatments including oral calcium/vitamin D3 supplementation or replacement with PTH 1-84, are still complicated by fluctuations in calcium levels thus leaving the disease inadequately controlled. There is therefore an unmet need for a long acting PTH that provides constant physiological levels of PTH and control of calcium. 

Our laboratory is dedicated to the development of long acting biologicals and have utilised novel protein fusion technologies to produce both long acting GH and GCSF molecules.

Using this technology we have produced long acting PTH fusions and initial data has shown that these fusions are biological activity in vitro and produce a long lasting biological effect in vivo.

What will you be building on?

The successful candidate will take on the programme of study and look to further advance the testing and characterisation of these PTH fusions as well as develop new back-up molecules for further testing. The candidate will obtain a wide range of transferrable skills and join a dedicated group of Postdoctoral, PhD and undergraduate students.

Laboratory skills

Molecular Biology; Protein expression and characterisation; in vitro cell based assays.

How will it help develop treatment overall?

The results from this research have potential translational benefits for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism. By producing a long acting PTH fusion we can develop a treatment that can maintain a tighter control of calcium over a longer period of time thus improving patient care and quality of life

How to apply:

Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form available here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/applying

Please clearly state the prospective main supervisor in the respective box and select Oncology and Metabolism as the department.

Proposed start date: Start dates 1st March 2022, 1st October 2022


Funding Notes

Open to self-funded students only
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