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Nitrate supplementation in pregnancy: maternal, fetal and offspring outcomes


   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Maternal diet has a significant impact of on fetal growth and development, as well as pregnancy outcomes and long-term offspring health. Dietary patterns characterised by high intakes of fruit and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, are associated with reduced rates of small for gestational age babies and reduced rates of preterm birth. Some of the specific dietary components proposed to have protective effects include vitamins, polyphenols and iron, but inorganic nitrate is another potential factor that has received relatively little attention. 

Supplementation with dietary nitrate, by providing a potential source of bioavailable nitric oxide (NO), has shown cardiometabolic benefits in both humans and animals outside of pregnancy.  In our group, we are interested in determining whether this approach can lead to improvements in pregnancy outcomes for mothers and their babies, particularly in high-risk groups associated with cardiometabolic dysfunction, including those with chronic hypertension and of advanced maternal age.  

This PhD will investigate the effects of maternal nitrate supplementation during pregnancy on maternal cardiometabolic adaptation to pregnancy, fetal and placental growth and development and offspring health, using animal models.  

1.     Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.  Candidates with experience in reproductive or cardiovascular medicine are encouraged to apply.

2.     For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/). Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the PhD title.

3.     For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk


Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 3 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website View Website
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website View Website

References

Tropea T, Renshall LJ, Nihlen C, Weitzberg E, Lundberg JO, David AL, Tsatsaris V, Stuckey DJ, Wareing M, Greenwood SL, Sibley CP, Cottrell EC. Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure and improves endothelial function in pregnant eNOS-/- mice: importance of nitrate-independent effects. (2020) J Physiol 598(18):4079-4092.
Cottrell EC, Tropea T, Ormesher L, Greenwood S, Wareing M, Johnstone E, Myers J, Sibley C. Dietary interventions for fetal growth restriction - therapeutic potential of dietary nitrate supplementation in pregnancy. (2017) J Physiol 595(15):5095-5102.
Renshall LJ, Cottrell EC, Cowley E, Sibley CP, Baker PN, Thorstensen EB, Greenwood SL, Wareing M, Dilworth MR. Antenatal sildenafil citrate treatment increases offspring blood pressure in the placental-specific Igf2 knockout mouse model of FGR. (2020) Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 318(2):H252-H263.

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