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Investigating how the gut regulates energy and glucose homeostasis


Department of Metabolism, Digestion & Reproduction

Sunday, February 28, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Obesity is a major global health issue which is driving rapid increases in the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The gut-brain axis plays an important role in the regulation of appetite and glucose homeostasis. Understanding how the gut senses the ingestion of specific nutrients to regulate these systems may identify new targets for agents to prevent or treat obesity and diabetes. This project will involve in vivo studies, a variety of physiological and pharmacological techniques, and may involve human studies. The student will have the opportunity to discuss the exact title and nature of the project with the supervisor to suit their interests and to incorporate recent advances in these exciting areas.
Students will be expected to be involved in the design and conduct of experiments, and to publish and present their work at national and international conferences. Students will complete the necessary home office training to receive a personal licence and will be trained in in vitro and in vivo techniques. The Section hosts a seminar series from eminent speakers and there is a weekly journal club to train students how to critically approach the scientific literature. They will also complete a series of courses from the award-winning Imperial College Graduate School. There will be opportunities to be given training in teaching, and to teach undergraduate students and to get involved in Outreach activities for school pupils.

Applicants must have a first or upper second class degree from a UK University or the overseas equivalent in a relevant area of biochemistry, biology, physiology, or neuroscience. A Masters degree may be useful but is not essential
Informal enquiries and further information can be obtained from Professor Kevin Murphy
Applicants who expect to or have obtained at least a 2:1 in a relevant subject should send an up-to-date curriculum vitae, including the names and addresses of two academic referees, and a cover letter explaining their interest in the PhD, to Prof Kevin Murphy, Imperial College Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0NN or via email to:

ndidates should have the ability to exercise initiative and to work independently or as part of a team, flexibility, good organisational and communication skills, intellectual rigour, the ability to prioritise a varied workload and to work under pressure to meet deadlines while maintaining a high level of accuracy.
Successful applicants will be joining an internationally-renowned research group, within one of the world’s top research universities. The Section has an excellent publication record in top rated research journals and is well funded from a number of different sources, including grants by the Wellcome Trust, the MRC and the BBSRC. The student will be based on the Hammersmith campus: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/visit/campuses/hammersmith/
Professor Murphy is an experienced PhD supervisor and has successfully supervised more than thirty PhD students to completion. He acts as the Director of Postgraduate Studies for Departments across the Faculty of Medicine and has won College and Departmental awards for his supervision. His research group studies how nutrient sensing in the gut regulates appetite and glucose homeostasis using in vitro models such as cell cultures and gut organoids, in vivo models, including tissue specific knockout models and glucose clamping, and translational human studies. His group is welcoming and friendly; students are well supported and have gone on to careers in academia, industry and beyond.

Funding Notes

The applicant will be supported to apply for funding from the College’s MRC doctoral training programme and Presidents’ scholarships. Studentships are available until the deadline date, but applicants will be eligible for more studentships the earlier they apply, and so are encouraged to contact the supervisor as soon as possible to discuss opportunities.

Home/EU tuition fees for 3 years plus a stipend of £18,000 per annum

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