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How Does Insulin Modulate Inflammation?


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  Dr M Gage  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of worldwide mortality. Insulin is widely recognised as an anabolic hormone which plays a significant role in glucose and lipid metabolism.

However, insulin is now established to play a role in inflammatory responses - which may affect the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes and the main pathology underlying cardiovascular disease: atherosclerosis.

The mechanisms of how insulin affects blood glucose has been well studied. However, how insulin regulates inflammation and how dysregulated insulin levels in cardiometabolic disease may affect cardiovascular disease development are largely understudied and remain unclear.

The aim of this PhD studentship will be to explore insulin signaling in macrophages.

Approach: This project will involve mice, human samples and cell lines, incorporating a range of techniques including but not limited to: Genotyping, dissections, immunohistochemistry, histology, RT-qPCR, RNA Seq+ data analysis, cell line and primary cell culture, PCR, Western blotting, in vitro functional assays.

The project relies on the use of mice and therefore the candidate may need to acquire a Personal Home Office licence (training will be provided) and be willing to work with experimental mouse models of cardiometabolic disease.

Funding Notes

This is a 3-year British Heart Foundation fully-funded studentship.
Open to applicants eligible for "Home" fees.
EU/EEA and Swiss national students starting studies in the 2021/22 academic year or later academic years may no longer be eligible to pay the “home” rate of tuition fees nor claim any financial support for their studies dependent on your personal circumstances (including immigration status and residence history in the UK). To help determine whether you would be eligible for home fees please see the UKCISA's 'Who pays 'home' fees for higher education in England?' guide.
International students will need to pay the difference in fees.


1. Batty MJ, Chabrier G, Sheridan A, Gage MC. Metabolic Hormones Modulate Macrophage Inflammatory Responses. Cancers. 2021 Sep 17;13(18):4661. doi: 10.3390/cancers13184661. PMID: 34572888; PMCID: PMC8467249.
2. Thibaut R, Gage MC, Pineda-Torra I, Chabrier G, Venteclef N, Alzaid F. Liver macrophages and inflammation in physiology and physiopathology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. FEBS J. 2021 Apr 15. doi: 10.1111/febs.15877.
3. Disrupting LXRα phosphorylation promotes FoxM1 expression and modulates atherosclerosis by inducing macrophage proliferation Gage, M C; Bécares, N; Louie, R; Waddington, K E; Zhang, Y; Tittanegro, T H; Rodríguez-Lorenzo, S; Jathanna, A; Pourcet, B; Pello, O M; De la Rosa, J. V.; Castrillo, A; Pineda-Torra, I, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2018
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