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EPSRC DTP Studentship: A multi-omic approach to identifying biomarkers of tissue development

School of Science

About the Project

Application details:
Reference number: SSEHS/LH
Start date of studentship: 1st January 2021
Closing date of advert: Wednesday 2nd December 2020
Interview date: Wednesday 9th December 2020

Primary supervisor: Dr Liam Heaney
Secondary supervisor: Dr Owen Davies

An exciting PhD opportunity joint-funded by EPSRC and Waters is available to further understand the role of biological messaging in tissue development. This will be achieved through the application of ‘omics techniques (e.g. proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics) to understand the biological composition of cell-derived extracellular vesicles. You will be provided with a unique opportunity to work with prominent academics within this field and alongside a globally leading vendor in analytical instrumentation (Waters). The project will provide a high level of skill development across multiple scientific remits including, cell biology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and data science. The approaches used within this project will offer an excellent base for a future career in science and technology.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
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Full Project Detail

Optimising tissue health is vital for maintaining essential biological functions and to drive homeostatic mechanisms. Recent research shows that cell-derived nanoparticles termed 'extracellular vesicles' contain numerous growth factors and molecules implicated in the modulation of tissue health and production. However, the current understanding on the contribution of extracellular vesicles during tissue adaptation, ageing and degeneration remains limited.

In this project you will apply in-house protocols for the isolation of EVs from tissue biopsies taken from healthy and aged donors. The collected EVs will be subject to state-of-the-art analytical techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of the protein, lipid and metabolite content. These analyses will comprise the main body of research within the PhD project and will be carried out in collaboration with the project partner, Waters. You will be provided with the excellent opportunity to visit and work with Waters at their state-of-the-art analytical laboratory in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or knowledge/experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: cell biology, bioanalysis (chromatography and/or mass spectrometry).

Funding information

Starting as soon as possible (January or April 2021), the studentship is for 3.5 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 p/a plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. To qualify for this full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the UK residency requirement.

Contact details

Name: Dr Liam Heaney
Email address:
Telephone number: 01509 226424

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select “School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences”.

Please quote reference number: SSEHS/LH

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