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Effects of antivirals on endothelial activation to understand cardiovascular risk in people living with HIV

National Heart and Lung Institute

Friday, December 11, 2020 Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

3-year NHLI-funded PhD post – April 2021

Applications are invited from candidates with a Master’s degree (Merit and above) in Pharmacology, Cell Biology or a related discipline, for a 3 year PhD.

The studentship will be funded for 3 years with a tax free bursary of £18,000 p.a.. Tuition fees at the Home rate will also be paid plus £5,000 consumable costs contribution to the project.

Summary of Research

HIV can be effectively treated with antivirals meaning that people diagnosed with HIV progress to old age and have a near-normal life expectancy. People living with HIV are, however, at increased risk on cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction. The causes of increased risk are unknown but may be related to side-effects of antiviral drugs.

Our group has shown that some antivirals influence cardiovascular function by affecting endothelial cell activation and the interaction of endothelial cells with platelets. This project will investigate the effects of newly emerging antiviral drugs upon endothelial cell activation using in vitro cell culture models. The student will explore changes in protein expression and function and will explore the knock-on effects on platelet activation. In order to ensure relevance to patients, the project will involve collaboration with Chelsea and Westminster hospital to analyse blood from people living with HIV on effective treatment in order to better understand links between antiviral therapy and cardiovascular risk.

Imperial College London provides excellent opportunities for research students' training. All students benefit from a full programme of training in research and transferable skills organised through the Graduate School, the quality of which has been recognised several times at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

The student will be based in the section of Cardio-Respiratory Interface within the National Heart and Lung Institute (, which provides an exciting environment, with state of the art facilities and excellent opportunities for PhD student training including research seminars and journal clubs. This project will be carried out in close collaboration with clinical teams embedded in the section, and the institute provides extensive collaborative opportunities with other research groups.

How to Apply

Applicants must hold, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second-class undergraduate degree or UK equivalent, along with a Masters, both in an appropriate subject from a recognised academic institution. To apply please send a CV, a one page personal statement, and the names and addresses of at least two academic referees to Mike Emerson by email on .

Please note that candidates must fulfil College admissions criteria.

Application deadline: 11/12/2020

Funding Notes

The studentship will be funded for 3 years with a tax free bursary of £18,000 p.a.. Tuition fees at the Home rate will also be paid plus £5,000 consumable costs contribution to the project.

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