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Endothelial receptor antagonists in experimental models of pulmonary hypertension: Cellular and right ventricular studies.

Project Description

REF SHLS-20003 Welsh

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.

How to Apply
This project is available as a 3 years full-time PhD study programme with expected start date of 1 October 2020.

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying.

To apply for this project, use the following link to access the online application form, as well as further information on how to apply:

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview within four weeks from the closing date.

Please send any other enquires regarding your application to:

Director of Studies Name: Dr David Welsh
GCU Research Online URL:

2nd Supervisor Name: Dr Yvonne Dempsie
GCU Research Online URL:

Funding Notes

Exceptional candidates will be put forward for the scholarship competition. The Scholarship packages available include fully funded studentships and fees only scholarships. The fully funded studentships are worth £19,509 per year for 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress. They cover payment of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £15,009.

For further details on funding see View Website

How good is research at Glasgow Caledonian University in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.30

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

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