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  Drug-Coated Balloon Therapy in Coronary Artery Disease Management

   College of Health and Life Sciences

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  Dr I Dias  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a Postgraduate studentship, supported by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust to be undertaken within the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University. 

Prospective Start Date: 1 July 2024

Academic year: 2023/5

Key words: Cardiovascular disease, Atherosclerosis, stents, lipids, biomarkers

Details of the Project

Coronary artery disease (CAD) continues to be a leading cause of mortality despite significant medical advancements. Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), involving stent implementation, is a widely accepted treatment for CAD. However, stents, while preventing vessel recoil, can lead to restenosis over time due to the accumulation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel lumen. Although drug-eluting stents have reduced restenosis rates, in-stent restenosis remains a persistent challenge for interventional cardiologists.

A promising alternative to traditional stent-based interventions is the use of drug-coated balloons (DCB) in PCI. DCBs aim to dilate stenosed coronary arteries and deliver anti-proliferative drugs directly to the vessel wall, reducing the risk of restenosis. This method eliminates the need for stent implantation and the associated requirements for dual antiplatelet therapy to prevent thrombotic occlusion. The novel approach has shown success in small vessel coronary artery disease and in patients at high bleeding risk.

The proposed research project seeks to explore the effectiveness of DCB therapy for stenosed coronary arteries and compare its impact on pathophysiological changes within the arteries. By utilising coronary artery blood flow sampling and peripheral blood sampling, the study aims to investigate blood lipid profiles and their correlation with luminal gain over a one-year follow-up period. The research underscores the importance of postoperative lipid management to address the broader atherosclerotic process.

In summary, the project addresses the limitations of traditional stent-based interventions for CAD by exploring the potential of DCB therapy. The focus on pathophysiological changes and lipid profiles provides a comprehensive understanding of the treatment's effectiveness. If successful, this research could contribute significantly to improving the outcomes of PCI and reducing the burden of coronary artery disease.

Please select “Research - Health Sciences” from the application form options.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution) in a relevant subject. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of handling blood samples and lipid analysis.

Contact information

For informal enquiries about this project contact Dr Irundika Dias at [Email Address Removed].

Submitting an application

Your application must include:

1.   English language copies of the transcripts and certificates for all your higher education degrees, including any Bachelor degrees.

2.   A Research Proposal Statement detailing your understanding of the research area, how you would approach the project, and a brief review of relevant literature. Be sure to use the title of the research project you are applying for. There is no set format or word count.

3.   A personal statement which outlines any further information which you think is relevant to your application, such as your personal suitability for research, career aspirations, possible future research interests, and further description of relevant employment experience. 

4.   Two academic referees who can discuss your suitability for independent research. References must be on headed paper, signed and dated no more than 2 years old. At least one reference should be from your most recent University. You can submit your references at a later date if necessary.

5.   Evidence that you meet the English Language requirements. If you do not currently meet the language requirements, you can submit this at a later stage.

6.   A copy of your passport. Where relevant, include evidence of settled or pre-settled status.

Apply for this position here.

Alternatively, you can submit an application here.

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at [Email Address Removed]

Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £18,622 in 2023/4.
Overseas applicants may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees. Currently the difference between ‘Home’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees is £13,688 in 2023/4. As part of the application, you will be required to confirm that you will provide this additional funding. Please indicate this on the application form in the funding section.


2. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31126-2
3. doi: 10.4244/EIJ-D-20-00999
4. DOI: 10.1016/j.redox.2018.02.014
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