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Multicellular endothelial signalling in the coordination of vascular function

   Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences

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  Prof J McCarron, Dr Calum Wilson  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project


Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position on blood vessel function. The project will work across traditional scientific boundaries to explore vascular cell signalling in vascular tissues. The successful applicant will have a good Honours degree in physiology, pharmacology, biomedical sciences or related disciplines. Experience in physiology or optical techniques, and a willingness/ability to learn them, is essential. An interest in interdisciplinary research, e.g. photonics/chemistry, is highly desirable. The post is available from 1st October 2022.   


Blood vessels are made up of different cell layers that each carry out specific functions. The innermost blood vessel layer is called the endothelium and although it is just one cell thick the endothelium is an incredible coordinator of cardiovascular function. The importance of the endothelium is clear from the severe health problems, including heart failure, stroke, and renal damage in hypertension, that occur when it malfunctions. Controlling endothelial dysfunction will reduce disease progression and limit health consequences. 

You will study a novel signaling pathway to address this unmet need. Our research has revealed that blood vessel function is regulated by networks of endothelial cells that each regulate different functions. Our results also show the networks are compromised in hypertension and that this leads to vascular dysfunction. 

Using advanced approaches, you will work to understand endothelial cell dysfunction in intact resistance arteries at three major functional levels: (1) How are endothelial networks organised in normotension and hypertension? (2) Why does network function change in hypertension? (3) How can endothelial network function be targeted to treat hypertension? 

Supervisory and collaboration team

This project will be supervised by Prof John G McCarron and Dr Calum Wilson, both expert in cardiovascular physiology. The successful applicant will join the Vascular Imaging Group (, an interdisciplinary team of scientists working at the forefront of blood vessel research.


The successful applicant will receive training in state-of-the-art techniques for assessing blood vessel function, advanced imaging techniques, image analysis and in software and equipment development as well as the usual PG cert to develop research skills. Our training programme is well recognised and students and postdocs in our laboratory have won numerous prizes, fellowships and academic positions.


The studentship is for three years, and it provides a tax-free stipend of £15,609 per year plus the tuition fees at the UK rate for 36 months of study. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to UK & EU applicants. 

How to Apply

To apply for this PhD Position we would ask applicants to submit a formal application via the following link uploading a copy of your CV and cover letter with research background. If you have any questions surrounding the application process please contact [Email Address Removed]


C. Wilson, C. D. Saunter, J. M. Girkin, J. G. McCarron, Clusters of specialized detector cells provide sensitive and high fidelity receptor signaling in the intact endothelium. FASEB J. 30, 2000–2013 (2016)
J. G. McCarron, M. D. Lee, C. Wilson, The Endothelium Solves Problems That Endothelial Cells Do Not Know Exist. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 38, 322–338 (2017).
M. D. Lee, et al., Spatially structured cell populations process multiple sensory signals in parallel in intact vascular endothelium. Sci. Signal. 11, eaar4411 (2018).
J. G. McCarron, et al., Heterogeneity and emergent behaviour in the vascular endothelium. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 45, 23–32 (2019).
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