Diet and mTor signaling in ageing-related neurodegenerative disease
Dr M J P Simons
Dr S Sweeney
Applications accepted all year round
Self-Funded PhD Students Only
Reducing food intake robustly increases lifespan in model organisms. When this data is extrapolated to humans, the predicted gain in healthy lifespan beats curing all stroke, diabetes, cancer and cardiac disease. Unfortunately, mechanisms of this diet effect have remained highly elusive. The mTor signalling network, able to also reliably extend longevity, is strongly modulated by diet. Yet, the longevity benefits of diet have so far been shown to be largely independent of mTor.
We have now identified in a Drosophila model of frontal, temporal dementia that downregulation of a specific mTor signalling component negates any effect of diet on the disease phenotype. This opens up an exciting opportunity to investigate the intricate and important relationships between diet, ageing and mTor signalling using this in vivo disease-relevant model. You will use a wide range of genetic tools using powerful genetic high-throughput models to understand these intricate relationships. You will further integrate your findings into neuroscience by spending time in the Sweeney lab (York).
The work is multidisciplinary as it crosses boundaries between nutritional science, neuroscience and ageing research. The research environment is an ambitious group with a strong team spirit and with widely divergent skill sets from which you will benefit.
This is a self-funded project.
The applicant should have or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject.