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  Investigating the role of ethnicity and inflammation in intramural hematoma to understand disease progression and guide future treatment avenues

   Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology

  , , , ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Intramural hematoma (IMH) is a life-threatening aortic disease. It involves bleeding within the medial layer of the aortic wall. IMH has variable prognosis; it may be reabsorbed naturally, or may progress to aortic aneurysm or dissection involving a tear in the intimal layer of the aortic wall with increased risk of aortic rupture.

The underlying mechanisms leading to IMH and the reason why IMH regresses in some cases and not in others are currently unknown. IMH can be treated medically and monitored regularly or via surgery with differing frequencies of diagnosis and regression/mortality rates reported between Asia and Europe.

This project will investigate the biochemical and biomechanical properties of the hematoma in patients undergoing surgery in the UK and South East Asia. Inflammation plays a role in many diseases including those affecting the aorta. We hypothesise that the inflammatory response, particularly inflammatory cell recruitment to the hematoma site is associated with IMH regression. We will test this hypothesis by investigating inflammatory cells and marker levels in the hematoma and blood of these patients. This information will be correlated with biomechanical properties of the hematoma to identify any differences in pathological processes between different ethnicities to provide insight into disease mechanisms and direct future treatment avenues.

This project is a multi-disciplinary collaboration based within the Liverpool Aortic Biomechanics and Biochemistry Research Group (incorporating engineering and biochemistry from University of Liverpool, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital) and National University of Singapore. This project will include a period of training in Singapore to investigate differences in pathological processes between Asian and European populations.

The project is suited to a student with at least a good B.Sc. Upper Second in Biological or Life Sciences (particularly in bio-engineering or biochemistry).

Applications will be reviewed until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Biological Sciences (4) Engineering (12) Medicine (26) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

The project is open to both European/UK and International students. It is UNFUNDED and applicants are encouraged to contact the Principal Supervisor directly to discuss their application and the project.
Assistance will be given to those who are applying to international funding schemes.
The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses as well as research costs of £3500 per year.
New self-funded applicants may be eligible for a tuition fees bursary (UK applicants only) or a £2000 ISMIB Travel and Training Support Grant.
Details of costs can be found here: View Website


Pelzel, J.M., Braverman, A.C., Hirsch, A.T., Harris, K.M., International Heterogeneity in Diagnostic Frequency and Clinical Outcomes of Ascending Aortic Intramural Hematoma, Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, 2007,
Choi, Y-J., Son, J-W,. Lee, S-H,. Kim, U,. Shin, D-G,. Kim, Y-J,. Hur, S-H,. Nam, C-W,. Cho, Y-K,. Lee, B-R,. Jeong, B-C,. Lee, J-B,. Ryu, J-K,. Park, H-S,. Lee, J-H,. Jang, S-Y,. Park, J-S,.
Treatment patterns and their outcomes of acute aortic intramural hematoma in real world:
multicenter registry for aortic intramural hematoma, BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:103

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