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Innate modification of Th17 cell behaviour during Multiple Sclerosis

   College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

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  Dr E Gwyer Findlay, Dr V Miron, Prof D Davidson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis – and its mouse model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis – is driven by a population of pathogenic IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells. It is still not fully understood how these cells are triggered, how they move into the central nervous system, and how they attack the host cells of the brain. We are interested in how innate immune cells such as neutrophils, which are present as inflammation sparks in the CNS, influence the development, differentiation and effector function of these T cells.

The research group is located in the University of Edinburgh / MRC Centre for Inflammation Research; a world-class research environment at the interface between biological and medical science, with multidisciplinary groupings focused on inflammation, infection, disease and repair. The Centre is based within the Edinburgh Medical School (ranked in the UK top 5; REF2014) in the outstanding facilities of the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at the site of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh hospital, maximising future translational opportunities.

About the project
This PhD will involve use of a) human and mouse cells ex vivo; b) in vivo mouse models of inflammatory disease; and c) patient samples and sections to understand the role of neutrophils in the development, differentiation, activation and effector function of CNS T cells.

Techniques which will be used include: mouse models of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); cell culture of primary cells and cell lines; multi-colour flow cytometry; ELISA; fluorescence and light microscopy; histological staining; real-time PCR.

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will be awarded a 4 year studentship, which includes their stipend, tuition fees (at the UK/EU rate), and contributions towards travel and research costs for their PhD project.

The studentship will be awarded competitively. Applicants should hold at least an upper second class degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline (eg immunology, biochemistry, biology). Applicants should submit the following documents to [Email Address Removed]: (i) Personal statement about their research interests and their reasons for applying; and (ii) CV.


Applicants should also arrange for two academic referees to submit letters of reference via email before the deadline. All documents should be submitted no later than 5pm on 19th February 2018. Short-listed candidates will be notified by email.

Informal enquiries can be sent via email to

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