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PhD in Immunology - Investigation of the role of TLR endogenous ligands in the increased risk of cardiovascular disease patients with chronic kidney disease

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 01, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This PhD project aims at investigating the inflammatory mechanisms behind the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in patients suffering from kidney disease.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death globally, is greatly precipitated by chronic kidney disease (CKD). Overall, there is approximately a 20-fold increase in CVD mortality rate among CKD patients on dialysis compared with the general population. Traditional CVD risk factors (e.g. hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes) do not account for the high risk in CKD patients and standard clinical interventions that are successful in the general CVD population are not always effective in CKD patients. The inflammation induced by kidney tissue damage or the dialysis treatment has been suggested to play a substantial role in the onset and progression of CVD, however, it has yet to be demonstrated and the mechanisms elucidated.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are innate immune receptors that are critical in mounting inflammation in response to an infection or following sterile tissue damage. Injured cells or tissues release endogenous components, known as Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs) that act as ligands for TLRs. The resulting inflammation is critical to efficient wound healing, but excessive or dysregulated inflammation has been involved in a variety of pathologies, notably in the development of atherosclerosis. This project aims to test the hypothesis that TLR DAMPs are being generated early during CKD, and that they engage TLRs on the peripheral leukocytes and/or endothelial cells, inducing chronic vascular inflammation and dysfunction that promotes and/or accelerates CVD development.

Funding Notes

Full UK/EU tuition fees
Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum
Consumables of £5,000 per annum.
Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject. In some cases, a medical degree and/or relevant professional qualifications or experience are required.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS).


In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service. (To access the system click 'Apply Online' at the bottom of this advert)
There is a box at the top right of the page labelled ‘Apply’, please ensure you select the correct ‘Qualification’ (Doctor of Philosophy), the correct ‘Mode of Study’ (Full Time) and the correct ‘Start Date’ (October 2019). This will take you to the application portal.

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