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Mesenchymal Stem Cell-derived Exosomes as Immunomodulatory Therapeutic Agents in the Infarcted Heart: Role of Dendritic Cells


Project Description

Applications are invited for a BHF 4 year MRes/PhD studentship starting in October 2019 at the Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine (ICTEM), Hammersmith Campus.

The Cardiovascular Sections of the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, have been united in the new state-of-the art Imperial College Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine, where they join collaborators such as the MRC Genetics and Genomics Unit. The present scheme takes advantage of new adjacencies with jointly supervised projects to explore novel areas in cardiovascular and stem cell science.

Imperial College London provides excellent opportunities for research student training. All students benefit from a full programme of training in research and transferable skills organised through the Graduate School, the quality of which has been recognised several times at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

Project summary

The BHF 4-year MRes/PhD studentships at ICTEM typically comprises a 1-year MRes in Biomedical Research, followed by a 3-year PhD. During the MRes year, students undertake two laboratory projects which will prepare them for the Ph.D. The overall aim of the project is to investigate MSC-exosomes and their influence on the adaptive immune system, with the direction of the PhD work being informed by the outcome of the MRes studies.
This PhD unites experts in different and complementary fields and therefore provides a broad training in in vivo, histology and molecular, cellular and immunological techniques. Exosome biology, cardio-immunology and bioinformatics are newly emerging fields of research and the student will therefore develop a unique skillset putting them at the forefront of cutting-edge research. The PhD will be articulated around 3 broad areas:

1: To isolate and characterise MSC-exosomes.
2. To Investigate the immunomodulatory capacity of MSC-exosomes.
3: To investigate the involvement of DC in the therapeutic responses to MSC-exosome in the post-MI heart.

Applicant Requirements

Applicants must hold, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate subject from a recognised academic institution. Candidates must fulfil College admissions criteria and meet BHF residency requirements.
This is a highly interdisciplinary project and previous theoretical and practical experience in at least one of the areas of study (immunology, cardiovascular biology, exosome biology) is essential. Expertise in small animal procedures and surgeries is highly desirable.

How to Apply

To apply, please email Jinata Subba () with the following documents.

- Your CV
- The names and addresses of at least two academic referees
- A personal statement of no more than 1,000 words explaining your interest in the project

Please assume that your application has not been successful if you have not heard from us within a month of the closing date.

Closing date for all applications: Thursday, 31st January 2019


Interviews will be held in February 2019

Funding Notes

The studentships are fully funded through a BHF training grant made to Prof Sian Harding and it will cover tuition fees (at the Home/EU rate) and a tax-free stipend starting from £22,278 per annum for a total of 4 years. In addition, there is a consumable allowance of £50,000 and £1,000 travel award per studentship.

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