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Investigation of the chemo-protectant effect of Vitamin E throughout cellular fatty acid metabolism

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  • Full or part time
    Dr N Rattray
    Dr D Watson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Global ageing and associated age-related disease is presently causing a substantial economic burden on health and social care costs. By enabling a greater proportion of older people to stay healthy for longer and compressing morbidity (increasing healthspan) the future sustainability of health, social and economic policy can be positively influenced. The development of methods that can be used to detect poorly-ageing phenotypes is an important step in this process as biomarkers can ultimately be used to develop personalized trajectories of ageing and inform intervention strategies.
Previous research has indicated that dysregulated energy metabolism within the carnitine shuttle is a primary driver behind ageing poorly. In this system, it is proposed that Vitamin E plays an important role as a chemo protectant in preventing reactive oxidation species (ROS) mediated peroxidation of fatty acids (FA).
By developing a targeted strategy to better understand this metabolic interplay, candidate biomarker panels of healthy carnitine shuttle function will be generated and applied to future work on model organisms. This will ultimately lead to a highly novel and precise method in the assessment of ageing healthily that is underpinned by quantifiable biochemical assessment –an approach that is more defined and robust than subjective clinical assessment alone.
This PhD project will be highly-suited to candidates from an analytical chemistry, biomedical sciences or pharmaceutical sciences background who are keen to develop skills in mass spectrometry based metabolomics, molecular biology and cell culture.
As a PhD candidate, you will join the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, a leading centre for research and training focused on the discovery, development and delivery of better medicines. As a University of Strathclyde PhD candidate, you will have access to the Strathclyde Researcher Development programme (PG Cert) offering you a competitive advantage as a research professional.

Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK, in analytical chemistry, biomedical or pharmaceutical sciences. All enquiries and applications should be directed to Dr Nicholas J W Rattray ([Email Address Removed]). Applications will be reviewed when received, and shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. The position will remain open till the advertised deadline.

All applications must be submitted via email (subject line: PhD applicant) as a single pdf file and include the following:
1) A cover letter (max 1 page) explaining your interest and fit to the project
2) A CV (maximum three pages).
3) Names and contact details of TWO references (including email addresses).
4) A copy of your academic transcripts.
Subject line: PhD application

Successful candidates will be invited for an interview in May/June 2019. It is anticipated that the PhD Studentship will start in October 2019.

Funding Notes

The studentship will last for 3.5 years. It will cover the tuition fee for UK/EU candidates, and provide and annual tax-free PhD stipend (£15,000 per annum). Please note that candidates outside the EU will not be eligible for funding under this studentship


1. N. J. W. Rattray, N. C. Deziel, J.D Wallach, S.A. Khan, V Vasiliou, J.P.A. Ioannidis and C H. Johnson ‘Beyond genomics: understanding exposotypes through metabolomics’ Human Genomics, 2018, 12:4

2. T. Huan, E. M. Forsberg, D. Rinehart, C. H. Johnson, J. Ivanisevic, H. P. Benton, M. Fang, A. Aisporna, B. Hilmers, F. L. Poole, M. P. Thorgersen, W. W. Adams, G. Krantz, M. W. Fields, P. D. Robbins, L. J. Niedernhofer, T. Ideker, E. L. Majumber, J. D. Wall, N. J. W. Rattray, R. Goodacre, L. Lairson and G. Siuzdak ‘A Cloud-Based Systems Biology Platform Guided by Metabolomics’ Nature Methods, 2017, 14,461–462

3. C. H. Johnson; A. F Santidrian; S. E. LeBeouf; M. Kurczy; N. J.W. Rattray, Z. Rattray, B. Warth, M. Ritland, L. T Hoang, C. Loriot, J. Higa, J. E. Hansen, B. Felding and Gary Siuzdak ‘Metabolomic guided pathway analysis reveals link between breast cancer metastasis and cholesterol sulfate’ Cancer & Metabolism, 2017, 5:9

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