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Influence of gut-brain axis on Alzheimer's diseases


   School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

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  Dr Murphy Wan  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded three-year PhD.

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Science and Health, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and will be supervised by Dr Murphy Wan and Professor Jerome Swinny.

The work on this project could involve:

●   Understanding the effect of microbiota-gut-brain axis on pathogenesis of Alzheimer's diseases (AD) using mouse models

●  Investigating the influence of neuroinflammation on AD development.

●   Elucidating molecular mechanisms of diseases and discovery of novel biomarkers using high throughput omics technologies

Project description

Compelling evidence indicates that disturbances along the microbiota-gut-brain (MGB) axis significantly contribute to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the precise molecular mechanisms remain unresolved. Our supporting data identify an extensive amyloid precursor protein (APP)-amyloid β (Aβ) system within the enteric nervous system of the mouse gut. Furthermore, recent work from other groups have shown that Aβ has antibacterial effects. This raises the prospect that perturbations of the local GI APP-Aβ system, and changes in GI Aβ production, could alter the composition of GI bacteria, resulting in dysbiosis.

This is a multidisciplinary project which the student will work with experts from different fields. The successful applicant will receive training in all relevant areas, but not limited to neuroscience, immunology, molecular biology, cell and structural biology with an emphasis on integration of different omics technologies for in-depth investigation of disease mechanisms and discoveries of novel biomarkers that can be translated in future clinical settings. While the majority of work will be undertaken in Portsmouth, the successful candidate will offer the opportunity to spend a short period at a collaborating laboratory.

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.


Funding Notes

Please note, this advert is for self-funded students (MRes/PhD) only. Students will be liable for the cost of University registration & bench fees as well as their own living costs. Students from all parts of the world are welcome to apply.
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