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Extracellular Vesicle mediated cross talk in exercise and ageing

   School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

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  Dr M Whitham, Dr L Breen, Dr P Harrison  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Research interests/description of main research theme:
Exercise induces the release of a vast array of molecules into circulation and there is a growing appreciation that this represents a complex network of long-range signalling or ‘cross talk’ between organs of the body. This is particularly intriguing, since it provides a paradigm with which to study the benefits of exercise on health. Recent work by our group has identified a novel form of cross talk during exercise, via 40-300nm sized extracellular vesicles (EVs). This finding has broadened the scope of the concept of crosstalk, suggesting the number of proteins that exchange information during exercise is considerable and, significantly, not dependent on classical or regular protein secretion. However, many questions remain regarding the specific role of EV signalling in different physiological and pathological contexts. One such query regards the role of EV cross talk in the context of ageing. This project will adopt cutting edge techniques in mass spectrometry and nanoparticle analysis to examine EV cross talk during exercise in aged populations. The aim of the project is to delineate the specific mediators of healthy ageing via regular exercise.

Person Specification
Applicants should have a strong background in Physiology, and ideally a background in Proteomics. They should have a commitment to research in integrative physiology and hold or realistically expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a relevant subject.

How to apply
Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Martin Whitham ([Email Address Removed])
Applications should be directed to Lisa Fuller (email – [Email Address Removed]). To apply, please send:
• A detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth;
• Names and addresses of two referees;
• A covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities;
• Copies of your degree certificates with transcripts;
• Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.

This studentship is full-time and will begin on 1st of October 2019

Funding Notes

To be eligible for a full award, a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. To be eligible for a fees-only award, a student must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU; in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK. Further information on eligibility is available online -


Whitham, M. & Febbraio, M.A. Viewpoint: Redefining tissue cross-talk via shotgun proteomic analyses of plasma extracellular vesicles. Proteomics 19(1-2) e1800154 (2018)

Whitham, M., et al. Extracellular Vesicles Provide a Means for Tissue Crosstalk during Exercise. Cell Metabolism. 27, 237-251 (2018).

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