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MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership: In vitro whole blood thrombosis models under flow conditions: The future of thrombosis diagnostics and research

MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership

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Dr P Philippou , Dr V Ridger No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Leeds United Kingdom Biochemistry Bioinformatics Biomedical Engineering Biophysics Cardiology Medical Physics Medicine Pharmacy Radiology

About the Project

All current commercially available assays that determine a patient’s risk of having a blood clot or a bleed rely on assays that are static rather than more physiological flow conditions. Furthermore, these assays usually do not look at all blood components together, rather they use a sub-fraction of blood components, such as plasma in isolation from red cells and platelets. We have established a flow based device that looks at blood clot formation in whole blood under flow conditions.

This project is at the forefront of research into thrombosis and will validate and apply new tools to examine blood coagulation while working to reduce the necessity of in vivo methods in research labs but also the potential application of the new flow device to aid diagnosis in patients at risk of thrombosis and bleeding.

The primary supervisor (Philippou) is responsible for characterisation of the in vitro flow model and the in vivo thrombosis model is up and running in the lab of the secondary supervisor (Ridger). The key aims will be to perform variations of each of the models, as well test them in the presence of different therapeutics such as anti-clotting drugs; and compare the two methods for outcomes including using biomarker assays of thrombosis and inflammatory pathways. The project will validate variations in the in vitro flow model to verify what is really happening within the body under different clotting scenarios. This project can potentially provide validation for the development of this assay as a novel diagnostic tool to be used clinically which will ultimately have great impact on patient benefit. The student will gain a vast array of techniques including development of biomarker assays as appropriate and many in vitro and in vivo methods. The primary and secondary supervisor have a good history of working together for the last 10 years on funded projects over this time frame.

Primary Supervisor (Professor Helen Philippou)

Secondary Supervisor (Dr Victoria Ridger)

Benefits of being in the DiMeN DTP:
This project is part of the Discovery Medicine North Doctoral Training Partnership (DiMeN DTP), a diverse community of PhD students across the North of England researching the major health problems facing the world today. Our partner institutions (Universities of Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield) are internationally recognised as centres of research excellence and can offer you access to state-of the-art facilities to deliver high impact research.
We are very proud of our student-centred ethos and committed to supporting you throughout your PhD. As part of the DTP, we offer bespoke training in key skills sought after in early career researchers, as well as opportunities to broaden your career horizons in a range of non-academic sectors.

Being funded by the MRC means you can access additional funding for research placements, international training opportunities or internships in science policy, science communication and beyond. See how our current DiMeN students have benefited from this funding here:

Further information on the programme and how to apply can be found on our website:

Funding Notes

iCASE Award: Industrial partnership project

Funded by the MRC for 3.5yrs, including a minimum of 3 months working within the industry partner.

Funding will cover UK tuition fees and an enhanced stipend (around £17,785) only. We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme. Please read additional guidance here:

Studentships commence: 1st October 2020.
Good luck!

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