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Investigation into pathophysiological insights into coarctation of the aorta and persistent hypertension

Project Description

The PhD will focus on examining the underlying pathophysiology in patients with the congenital cardiovascular defect of aortic coarctation, pre- and post-intervention with a specific focus on explaining the underlying mechanisms why these patients continue to have hypertension despite correction of the anatomical defect. Novel, state of the art equipment will be used to investigate changes in systemic, cerebral, autonomic and myocardial function in both pediatric and adult population, and the relation to physiological stress.

As a member of the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science the PhD student will be registered with the University of Liverpool Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease and will also spend time at Liverpool John Moores University within the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES), with patient recruitment from Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The supervisory team will consist of: Professor Gregory Lip (Price-Evans Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine) who is a clinical cardiologist with global expertise in atrial fibrillation and hypertension; Professor Helen Jones (Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology) who has expertise in measurement of peripheral artery and cerebrovascular function; and Professor Attilio Lotto (Consultant Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Alder Hey Hospital) who is a paediatric cardiac surgeon and expert in congenital cardiac conditions.
In addition to their project-specific training all University of Liverpool postgraduate students undertake the PGR Development Programme which aims to enhance their skills for a successful research experience and career. They are required to maintain an online record of their progress and record their personal and professional development throughout their research degree. Other online training, such as ‘Managing your supervisor’ and ‘Thesis writing’ is provided centrally.

The Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease is fully committed to promoting gender equality in all activities. In recruitment we emphasize the supportive nature of the working environment and the flexible family support that the University provides. The Institute holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of on-going commitment to ensuring that the Athena SWAN principles are embedded in its activities and strategic initiatives.

Specific eligibility requirements:

• BSc (minimum upper-second honors degree) in a related discipline.
• Excellent communication skills to patient/parent and academic audience.
• Knowledge of the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems
• Experience of quantitative physiological data collection
• Highly motivated

• Relevant postgraduate qualification (e.g. MSc).
• Previous experience in conducting research studies and clinical trials
• Knowledge/experience of measuring peripheral artery and/or cerebral blood flow using ultrasound
• Knowledge of statistics
• Experience of working with patients with cardiovascular disease or abnormalities

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be addressed any of the team:
Prof Helen Jones or 0151 904 6270, or Prof Attilio Lotto or Gregory Lip

To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to and copy the email to .

Funding Notes

The studentship is funded by the Hugh Greenwood Legacy for Children’s Health Research in conjunction with the University’s Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease including UK/EU fees, and stipend at UKRI recommended rate, £15,009 for 2019-20.

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