Project reference number: SHLS19004
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a general name for a group of progressive vasculopathies of the pulmonary vasculature. Lower blood flow through the pulmonary circulation leads to an increase in both pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary artery pressure. A key feature of the disease is the remodelling of the pulmonary vasculature, this involves increased migration and proliferation as well as supressed apoptosis of fibroblasts, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells of the pulmonary artery. The increased pressure leads to a greater strain placed on the right ventricle of the heart. Hypertrophy of the right ventricle (RV) occurs as a compensatory mechanism; however, this eventually leads to right ventricle failure.
This PhD will focus on the effects of the specific endothelin receptor antagonist macitentan on the remodeling of the lung vasculature and that of the right ventricle of the heart. Pulmonary vascular fibroblast and smooth muscle cells will be isolated from control rats, pulmonary hypertensive (PH) rats and PH rats that have been successfully treated with macitentan. Cardiac fibroblast and myocytes will also be isolated from the same groups of rats. Proliferative, migratory and signaling pathways will be studied to help understand the pathways involved in the remodeling process. Immunohistochemistry will be utilised to study the distribution of endothelin receptors in the lung vasculature and compare those of the right and left ventricles of the heart. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data derived from all three groups of rats described above will be analysed as a non-invasive tool to study right ventricular responses to both pulmonary hypertension and treatment.
The successful applicant will have a minimum of a relevant first degree (2:1 or above). Previous experience of quantitative research methodology is desirable.
Candidates are requested to submit a more detailed research proposal (of a maximum of 2000 words) on the project area as part of their application.
Research Strategy and Research Profile
Glasgow Caledonian University’s research is framed around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, We address the Goals via three societal challenge areas of Inclusive Societies, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Environments. This project is part of the research activity of the Research Group – Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit. http://spvu.co.uk
How to Apply
This project is available as a 3 year full-time PhD study programme with a start date of 1st October 2019
For information on how to apply and the online application form please go to https://www.gcu.ac.uk/research/postgraduateresearchstudy/applicationprocess/
Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview.