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Molecular mechanisms of neuronal ageing in bladder and bowel neurons (ref: SF18/APP/Ranson)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Ageing results in a progressive loss of physiological function resulting in a reduced quality of life in the elderly. One of the more prevalent conditions associated with ageing is incontinence-both faecal and urinary. The development of incontinence may be neurogenic in origin and studies in our laboratory have shown age-related changes to the network of neurons that controls bladder and bowel function. This work is now at a stage where the molecular basis of these changes needs to be determined. Thus, this project will use a combination of techniques (including laser microdissection and proteomic analysis) to determine the intracellular changes in bladder/bowel neurons in a mouse model of ageing.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications should include a covering letter that includes a short summary (500 words max.) of a relevant piece of research that you have previously completed. Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 1st July 2019 for October 2019 start, or 1st December 2018 for March 2019 start
Start Date: October or March

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers

Funding Notes

This studentship is only open to self-funding candidates. Self-funding candidates are expected to pay University fees and to provide their own living costs. University fee bands are shown at
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Projects in Applied Sciences are typically costed at Band 3 or Band 4.


1. Patel, B.A., Fidalgo, S., Wang, C., Parmar, L., Mandona, K., Panossian, A., Flint, M.S., Ranson, R.N., Saffrey, M.J. and Yeoman, M.S. (2017) The TNF-α antagonist etanercept reverses age-related decreases in colonic SERT expression and faecal output in mice. Sci Rep. 7, Article number 42754
2. Ranson, R. N. and Saffrey, M.J. (2015). Neurogenic mechanisms in bladder and bowel ageing. Biogerontology. 16(2), 265-84.
3. Wang, C., Houghton, M.J, Gamage, P.P.K.M., Collins H.E., Patel, B.A.,Yeoman, M.S., Ranson, R.N. and Saffrey, M.J (2013). Changes in the innervation of the mouse internal anal sphincter during aging. Neurogastroenterol Motil . 25 (7), e469–e477.
4. Gamage, P.P.K.M., Ranson, R. N, Patel, B.A., Yeoman, M.S. and Saffrey, M.J (2013). Myenteric neuron numbers are maintained in aging mouse distal colon. Neurogastroenterol Motil 25 (7) , e495–e505.

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