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Does Histone Deacetalyse Inhibition Reduce Atherosclerosis and Stroke Risk (PhD only) 

  • Full or part time
    Prof H Markus
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, December 03, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The Cambridge Stroke Group led the identification of the HDAC9 (histone deacetalyse 9) gene as a risk factor for stroke. The association is specific for large artery stroke due to atherosclerosis. Further studies have shown increased expression of HDAC9 in the carotid artery plaque, and that reducing HDAC9 expression reduces stroke risk in animal models. Sodium valproate, which is a widely used antiepileptic, is an HDAC inhibitor. In large epidemiological datasets we have shown that sodium valproate is associated with reduced stroke risk, compared with other antiepileptics. We are now investigating, in a phase 2 randomised controlled trial design, whether sodium valproate reduces cerebral atherosclerosis via HDAC inhibition.

The project will involve studying the effect of sodium valproate on imaging markers of atherosclerosis including both structural markers (CT/MRI) to look at the volume and type of the atherosclerotic plaque, and positron emission tomographic (PET) markers to look at plaque activation/inflammation. The study would involve patient contact with recruiting and scanning patients. The student would gain experience in clinical research and clinical trial methodology, as well as both performing and analysing brain imaging.

Funding Notes

Funding deadline is 3rd December 2019 for start in October 2020. When applying indicate on the application the funding options (GATES USA *deadline 9/10/19*, Gates Cambridge or other Cambridge Funders). Home/EU and International applications are all considered for funding.


Applicants can only be considered if they apply via the applicant portal which can be found at this link; please do not send in an enquiry and CV as this will not be considered an application.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Cambridge in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.05

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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