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PhD in Neuroimmunology - Unravelling the molecular basis of the association of genetic variation in the clusterin gene with risk of Alzheimer’s disease


Project Description

Big genetic studies have changed thinking about AD, highlighted different possible causes and suggested new ways of treatment. The best of these studies are huge, multi-national
collaborations, aggregating information on thousands of patients to identify genes that carry risk; in AD this is very complicated because many genes influence disease risk but most
of these individually have very small effects. A handful of genes have much bigger effects and these are thus likely to be important. Ten years ago there was only one big genetic hit - the ApoE gene; then in 2009, several additional big-hit genes were discovered, including a gene called Clu which carries the code for a protein found in plasma called clusterin. Small changes in the Clu gene increased risk of developing AD, though precisely how is unknown. The proposed studentship will address this question first by developing much better ways of measuring how much clusterin there is in blood, spinal fluid and brain; these new tests will reveal whether AD-linked changes in Clu cause changes in amounts of clusterin that might be the causal link and a treatment target. Cultured cells will be used to confirm that the effects are due to altered clusterin production.

Funding Notes

The studentship is generously funded by the Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Open to all UK/EU students without further restrictions
Full UK/EU tuition fees
Additional funding is available over the course of the programme and will cover costs such as research consumables and training. Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

References

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS)

HOW TO APPLY
This studentship has a start date of October 2020. In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service. (To access the system click 'Visit Website' 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 2020). This will take you to the application portal.
In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information:

• Supporting statement
• CV
• Qualification certificates
• References x 2 (references are optional at this stage, but will strengthen your application)
• Proof of English language (if applicable)

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