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Fully Funded MSc by Research in Cardiovascular and Diabetes Medicine: Double power – anti-diabetic drugs with anti-thrombotic action


   School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition

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  Prof Nicola Mutch, Dr G Rena, Prof R McCrimmon  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The North-East Scotland (NES) Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research Alliance Masters Training Programme (MTP) in cardiovascular and diabetes medicine is an exciting new programme that will expand interdisciplinary cardiovascular and diabetes research between the University of Aberdeen and the University of Dundee.

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Double power – anti-diabetic drugs with anti-thrombotic action

Thrombotic and vascular complications account for 50% of deaths in patients with type 2 diabetes melilitus (T2DM). T2DM is associated with a prothrombotic state arising due to derangement in platelet function, coagulation and fibrinolysis. Hyperinflammation in T2DM further exacerbates the prothrombotic potential in patients. Metformin, the gold standard in treating T2DM, is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular mortality but the pleiotropic effects are diverse. Limited investigations indicate that metformin may attenuate the prothrombotic state but the exact mechanisms involved and downstream implications in terms of thrombus formation and stability are unknown. The aim of this study is to address whether there is a direct affect of metformin on thrombus formation and stability. The project student will take advantage of a unique set of bespoke in house assays, antibodies, inhibitors and fluorescent probes to pinpoint where metformin attenuates thrombus formation and stability. Initially, we will employ standard haematological assays to generate information on changes in overall haemostatic potential in healthy individuals in the presence of metformin. These studies will be combined with high resolution confocal microscopy to visualise modifications in fibrin structure and stability. Platelet function will be assessed using an aggregation assay and by quantifying markers of cellular degranulation. Flow cytometry will permit changes in platelet activation status, including differences in phosphatidylserine and P-selectin exposure, activation of several key receptors and binding of coagulation proteins to the platelet surface. Importantly, we will visualise thrombus formation in real-time using novel microfluidic approaches and quantify changes in platelet

dynamics using proteomic approaches to detail systemic alterations in the platelet proteome following metformin treatment. Collectively these approaches will pinpoint the ability of metformin to alter the prothrombotic potential in normal healthy individuals and provide evidence as to the benefit of this drug in diabetic cohort of patients.

Informal project enquiries are encouraged. Please contact Professor Nicola Mutch ([Email Address Removed]) for more information.

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This opportunity to achieve an MSc by Research is part of a flagship collaborative programme between the two universities. Based either in Aberdeen or Dundee but with cross-institutional training opportunities, students will be embedded in vibrant multidisciplinary research teams with a mix of cardiovascular/diabetes clinicians and scientists. Excellent research training opportunities are provided, including MTP specific training events, and more general training and educational activities in the universities, highlighted for example by the newly established Doctoral Academy in Dundee.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS & ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must possess or be expected to possess by the time of starting the MSc, at least one of the following:

  • First class, or upper second-class UK Honours Degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant scientific discipline.
  • Postgraduate Masters degree in a relevant scientific discipline, or equivalent.

International applicants may apply for this studentship but will have to find additional funding to cover the difference between overseas and home fees (~£18,000 per annum).

International applicants receiving a funded offer of study covering UK fees only will be asked to provide evidence that this fee difference can be met.

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APPLICATION PROCEDURE

  • Full application instructions and further information can be found by visiting the following link: Masters Training Programme
  • CV's submitted directly through a FindAPhD enquiry WILL NOT be considered.
  • If you have further questions, please email [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This one-year MSc by Research is funded by the North-East Scotland Diabetes and Cardiovascular Research Alliance.
Funding for this project will cover home/UK fees (this includes EU nationals that hold UK settled or pre-settled status), research costs, and a stipend at the UKRI rate (£16,062 for the 2022/2023 academic year).
International applicants may apply for this studentship but will have to find additional funding to cover the difference between overseas and home fees (~£18,000 per annum). International applicants receiving a funded offer of study covering UK fees only will be asked to provide evidence that this fee difference can be met.
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