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Identification and Testing of Novel Strategies to Manage and Prevent Hair Loss Resulting from Cancer Treatments and Inflammatory Conditions

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

   Friday, March 31, 2023  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Hair loss, such as that following cancer treatments or in inflammatory conditions can carry a significant psychological burden, and treatment options remain limited.

This 4 year PhD studentship fully funded by industry will work to identify and test novel approaches to restore cell and tissue homeostasis in human models of chemotherapy, radiation and inflammation-induced alopecia.

This project will utilise existing hair follicle models of chemotherapy-induced damage and inflammation, and will develop a new model to examine the impact of radiation on human hair follicles and hair follicle stem cell populations to elucidate the pathological mechanisms that result in hair loss.

Furthermore, this project will also use ex vivo models to test whether natural agents (e.g. edible plant-derived compounds) can be used to promote human hair growth and manage hair loss. The PhD student will join our lab which studies human hair follicle biology and inflammatory hair loss disorders, and will be supported by strong links to our dermatology/hair loss clinic based at the Northern Care Alliance NHS group.

Training will be given in techniques including human tissue culture, histology, microscopy, and quantitative in situ analysis, and the student will have access to world-class facilities at the University of Manchester. 

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.  Candidates with Master’s level experience in cell biology, tissue culture and/or histology are encouraged to apply. 


Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant discipline.  

Before you Apply 

Applicants must make direct contact with preferred supervisors before applying. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to meet with potential supervisors, prior to submitting a formal online application.  

How to Apply 

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents by the advertised deadlines. Without all the required documents submitted at the time of application, your application will not be processed and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you have any queries regarding making an application please contact our admissions team   

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion  

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website


Funding Notes

Stipend will start at £20,168 (£2500 more per annum than the UKRI rate at 17,668 per annum).
Studentship fully funded by industry (Monpure) for a duration of four years to commence in September 2023 and covers UK tuition fees and an annual stipend.


Purba, T. S., Ng’andu, K., Brunken, L., Smart, E., Mitchell, E., Hassan, N., O’Brien, A., Mellor, C., Jackson, J., Shahmalak, A., & Paus, R. (2019). CDK4/6 inhibition mitigates stem cell damage in a novel model for taxane‐induced alopecia. EMBO Molecular Medicine.
Purba, T. S., Brunken, L., Peake, M., Shahmalak, A., Chaves, A., Poblet, E., Ceballos, L., Gandarillas, A., & Paus, R. (2017). Characterisation of cell cycle arrest and terminal differentiation in a maximally proliferative human epithelial tissue: Lessons from the human hair follicle matrix. European Journal of Cell Biology.

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