Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
Bournemouth University Featured PhD Programmes

Investigation of host-microbial derived biomarkers for the early detection of age-related cognitive decline and dementia (VauzourMEDOct2020)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the Faculty of Medicine and Health working under the supervision of Dr David Vauzour and Pr Michael Müller.

Although there is a vast body of research on age-related neurodegeneration associated with cognitive decline, there has been little focus on the impact of the host-microbial derived products on brain physiology and impact on neurodegenerative disorders. This project will extend our ongoing programme of work in the gut-brain axis by measuring microbiota derived biomarkers which have potential for use in earlier diagnosis and monitoring the trajectory of dementia. In particular, this project will explore new fluid biomarkers using cutting-edge methods including shotgun metagenomics and targeted metabolomics utilising bio-archived and newly collected bio-fluids (faeces, blood, urine) from highly characterised longitudinal and clinical cohorts.

The project should appeal to candidates interested in gut physiology, metabolism and neuroscience in preventing age-related cognitive decline and dementia. The student will join the Norwich Medical School which provides a supportive research environment and access to experienced researchers. The student will receive training in targeted metabolomics, metagenomics, and computational modelling (machine learning). In addition to their research the student will be provided with training in scientific writing, presentation, data management, statistical analysis and will be encouraged to attend and present at national and international conferences.

More information on the supervisor for this project:
Type of programme: PhD
Start date: October 2020
Mode of study: Full-time
Studentship length: 3 years

Entry requirements;

Applicants should have a degree (2.1 or above) in biochemistry, neurosciences or a related subject.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences competition for funded studentships. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of Home/EU fees, a stipend of £15,009 and £1000 per annum to support research training. Overseas applicants may apply but are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (in 2020-21 the international fee is £19,100 for lab based projects and £15,700 for non-lab based projects but fees are subject to an annual increase).


i) Vogt, N.M., R.L. Kerby, K.A. Dill-McFarland, S.J. et al. Gut microbiome alterations in Alzheimer's disease. Sci Rep, 2017; 19;7(1):13537
ii) Kowalski, K. and A. Mulak. Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis in Alzheimer's Disease. J Neurogastroenterol Motil, 2019. 25(1): p.48-60.
iii) Pitsalidis, C., M.P. Ferro, D. Iandolo et al. Transistor in a tube: A route to three dimensional bioelectronics. Sci Adv, 2018. 4(10): p. eaat4253.
iv) Dinan, T.G. and J.F. Cryan. Gut-brain axis in 2016: Brain-gut-microbiota axis - mood, metabolism and behaviour. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2017.14(2): p. 69-70.
v) Tran TTT, Corsini S, Kellingray L, et al. APOE genotype influences the gut microbiome structure and function in humans and mice: relevance for Alzheimer's disease pathophysiology. FASEB J. 2019;33(7):8221–8231.

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