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Modulation of the pulmonary vasculature in health and disease

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The pulmonary microcirculation is tightly modulated by the autonomic nervous system, the pulmonary vessel endothelium and the vascular smooth muscle. All components act synergistically to selectively perfuse well-ventilated alveoli and, thus, optimize ventilation-perfusion matching. During hostile challenges to the pulmonary microcirculation, such as chronic hypoxia, each of these components can potentially undergo adverse functional changes, which ultimately culminates in the onset and development of pulmonary arterial hypertension. This research essentially aims to investigate the various mechanisms that modulate pulmonary vascular tone, with the ultimate goal of further understanding the pathomechanisms that contribute to the development of pulmonary hypertension. Experiments will be designed to assess the relative role of the autonomic nervous system, endothelium and smooth muscle in modulating pulmonary vascular tone in specific animal models susceptible to pulmonary hypertension, such as obesity, age-related and hypoxia sensitive subjects.

Applications to undertake a PhD in Physiology are welcome at any time. Candidates can be of any nationality and must have attained an excellent degree (MSc with significant research component or a 4 years of Bachelors with Honours degree) in biomedical science or a closely-related subject.

1. Applicants are encouraged to first contact the supervisor(s) by email with the following details:
o Your name and country of citizenship
o Your CV
o Certified academic transcript (and, if applicable, an explanation of the content)
o Certified evidence of English language proficiency (eg IELTS or TOEFL results)
o The names of two referees
2. If your application is to be considered, the supervisor will contact you to discuss the next steps, and our Departmental Administrator will check that your documents are complete.
3. Funding: The PhD project will be funded by the University of Otago doctoral scholarship (tuition fees and a tax-free personal allowance of NZD$27,000 pa for 36 month). Successful candidates are expected to apply and be awarded a scholarship.

For further information on research in the Department see our research section at

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