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PhD project: Seeing the unseeable: revealing the details of cardiac fibrosis with Super-resolution Microscopy


School of Medical Sciences

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Dr D Crossman Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

It is a striking fact that up to 20% of the world’s population will develop heart failure in their lifetime. Heart failure is a condition that has a high mortality rate and one we have few treatments to prevent or to help repair.
In the Cardiac Nanobiology Lab, we work right at the heart of the heart, using super-resolution microscopy to study heart disease.
We have made new discoveries around a key feature of the failing heart; thickening of the heart walls or fibrosis. Our work has focussed on understanding nanoscale changes in an unusual collagen molecule, which alters calcium control of how strongly the heart muscles contract to pump blood around our bodies. Understanding these nanoscale changes can help us work towards nanoscale treatments as a new way to treat heart failure
In this project, we want to know if we genetically modify this collagen molecule, can we stop the nanoscale fibrosis, improve how calcium controls cardiac contractions and improves function in the failing heart. You will use cutting-edge techniques including super-resolution microscopy, with 10 nm resolution, to image fibrosis, Ca2+ imaging, and VisualSonics echocardiography to measure cardiac function.

Eligibility: Applicants must have completed a postgraduate bachelors (honours) degree with first class or second class (division 1) honours, or a masters degree with first class or second class (division 1) honours in Biomedical Sciences or a related subject. In addition you completed a significant research project, dissertation or thesis, at university level.

Grades or marks achieved at other institutions are given a Grade Point Equivalent (GPE) on the University’s 0-9 grading scale. If you have overseas qualifications you will typically need a GPE of 5.5 or over 8.0 to be eligible for a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. We highly recommend that you calculate your GPE before applying. To view an indication of your GPE use our GPE calculator: https://www.gpecalculator.auckland.ac.nz

Additional information about the University of Auckland Doctoral Entry requirements can be found here:
https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/study/applications-and-admissions/entry-requirements/postgraduate-entry-requirements/doctoral-entry-requirements.html

Funding Notes

For information relating to Scholarships from the University and possibly in conjunction with your home country, please see the following link
https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/study/scholarships-and-awards/scholarship-types/postgraduate-scholarships.html

There are also options for applying for Scholarship from external agencies in New Zealand.

Fees: If you are a new international PhD student, you will pay the same annual tuition fee as New Zealand PhD students. The 2019 PhD tuition fee is NZ$7,108.80 per annum. In additional to the tuition fee, there is a Student Services Fee estimated at $847.20 for full-time study.


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