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Investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms of T cell-mediated myelin regeneration

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  • Full or part time
    Prof D Fitzgerald
    Dr R Ingram
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Myelin is the insulating layer surrounding nerve axons that ensures efficient nerve signal conduction, axonal metabolic support and neuroprotection. When myelin is damaged in the central nervous system (CNS), as in conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), patients lose neurological functions. Myelin can be regenerated (remyelination) however, when this repair process fails, patients can develop permanent neurological impairment. As there are no remyelinating therapies currently approved, the goal of our research is to identify novel therapeutic targets to boost CNS remyelination.

Although the immune system causes myelin damage in MS, immune cells also participate in remyelination. We have recently uncovered a key role for specialised T cells in promoting remyelination (Dombrowski et al., Nature Neuroscience, 2017). We now seek an ambitious PhD student to join our highly collaborative and driven team to investigate functions of other T cell subsets in CNS remyelination in a Wellcome Trust-funded research programme.

This project will utilise cell, tissue and in vivo experimental models to investigate how CD4+ T cell subsets influence oligodendrocyte progenitor cell development and myelin regeneration in the CNS. Collectively, this regenerative neuroimmunology project will combine training in immunology, neuroscience and regenerative biology to identify novel immunoregenerative mechanisms for potential therapeutic exploitation.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:
http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/Applying/English-language-requirements/#English

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE)*

Eligibility for both fees (£4260 for 2018/19, 2019/20 TBC) and maintenance (£14,777 for 2018/19, 2019/20 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/publications/student-finance-postgraduate-studentships-terms-and-conditions

References

Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Experimental Medicine, website for further details about the Centre:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/wwiem/

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