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Impact of mycotoxins of agricultural relevance on reproductive cell biology in cattle

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Velazquez
    Dr A Benham
    Dr E Okello
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The project explores the interface between animal breeding biotechnology and reproductive cell biology using a bovine model. In this project you will acquire sophisticated in vitro methodological skills (e.g. in vitro embryo production) and you will be trained in advanced analytical techniques (e.g. protein localization by confocal microscopy) to address a biological question of importance for sustainable dairy production and assisted reproduction in mammals. In a series of laboratory rotations, you will receive training at Newcastle (School of Natural and Environmental Sciences) and Durham Universities (Department of Biosciences). At the end of your PhD you will possesses knowledge, skills and expertise for several job sectors, including academia, agri-business (e.g. animal breeding companies), specialized research institutions, and biotech companies.


Applications should be made by emailing [Email Address Removed] with a CV (including contact details of at least two academic (or other relevant) referees), and a covering letter – including whatever additional information you feel is pertinent to your application; you may wish to indicate, for example, why you are particularly interested in the selected project and at the selected University. Applications not meeting these criteria will be rejected.

In addition to the CV and covering letter, please email a completed copy of the Additional Details Form (Word document) to [Email Address Removed]. A blank copy of this form can be found at:

Informal enquiries may be made to [Email Address Removed]

Please note that the closing date for applications is Monday 18th May at 12noon.

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship under the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham DTP. The successful applicant will receive research costs, tuition fees and stipend (£15,009 for 2019-20). The PhD will start in October 2020. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. EU candidates must have been resident in the UK for 3 years in order to receive full support. Please note, there are 2 stages to the application process.


1) Origins of lifetime health around the time of conception: causes and consequences. The Lancet 2018, 391(10132), 1842-1852.

2) Insulin and branched-chain amino acid depletion during mouse preimplantation embryo culture programmes body weight gain and raised blood pressure during early postnatal life. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 2018, 1864(2), 590-600.

3) Advanced maternal age causes adverse programming of mouse blastocysts leading to altered growth and impaired cardiometabolic health in post-natal life. Human Reproduction 2016, 31(9), 1970-1980.

4) Mouse early extra-embryonic lineages activate compensatory endocytosis in response to poor maternal nutrition. Development 2014, 141(5), 1140-1150.

5) Calreticulin is required for development of the cumulus oocyte complex and female fertility. Scientific Reports 2015, 5: 14254.

6) Protein disulfide isomerase homolog PDILT is required for quality control of sperm membrane protein ADAM3 and male fertility. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012, 109(10): 3850-3855.

7) Reductive stress selectively disrupts collagen homeostasis and modifies growth factor-independent signalling through the MAPK/Akt pathway in human dermal fibroblasts. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 2019, 18(6): 1123-1137.

8) GnRH immunization alters the expression and distribution of protein disulfide isomerases in the epididymis. Andrology 2016, 4(5): 957-963.

9) A developmentally regulated chaperone complex for the endoplasmic reticulum of male haploid germ cells. Molecular Biology of the Cell 2007, 18(8): 2795-2804.

10) In vitro protective effects of an aqueous extract of Clitoria ternatea L. flower against hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity and UV-induced mtDNA damage in human keratinocytes. Phytotherapy Research 2018, 32(6), 955-1144.

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